The Eurobarometer survey
Since 2007, the European Commission has undertaken frequent Eurobarometer surveys on the subject of EU citizens, agriculture and the CAP. The Commission uses these surveys to chart public perceptions of agriculture, forestry and rural areas in the EU.
The most recent survey was conducted in the 27 EU countries between 21 February and 21 March 2022, during the first weeks of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. In addition to the subjects included in this overview of the latest results, topics covered also include international trade in agricultural products, quality labels, special dietary needs and the EU school scheme.
Food security, safety, and quality
According to the latest Eurobarometer survey, nearly half of EU citizens believe that securing a stable supply of food in the EU at all times should be a main objective of the CAP – 6 percentage points higher than 2020.
With regard to food prices and supply, the survey revealed:
- 55% think the CAP should contribute to ensuring reasonable food prices for consumers, a 6 percentage point increase on 2020.
- 79% of Europeans think the CAP does contribute to a stable food supply.
- 65% believe it contributes to reasonable prices.
Providing safe, healthy and sustainable food of high quality remains the CAP’s core mission according to six in ten Europeans. This has remained stable over a period of several years.
As the CAP celebrates its 60th anniversary, a large majority of people (70%) in all 27 EU countries say they have heard of the support given to farmers through the CAP.
A majority agree that the CAP contributes to encouraging young people to enter farming, and to increasing the number of jobs in the agriculture and food sectors.
Respondents also believe that it plays a role in reducing disparities in the development of different regions and territories of the EU. Overall, 76% say that the CAP benefits all European citizens and not only farmers.
EU agriculture, climate and the environment
The Eurobarometer shows a growing awareness amongst citizens of the interaction between agriculture, climate and the environment:
- 92% of Europeans agree that extreme weather events, such as increasingly severe floods and droughts, can have an impact on food supply and food security in the EU.
- A majority of Europeans think agriculture has already made a major contribution to the fight against climate change.
- However, two-thirds still believe EU farmers could do more to change the way they work, even if it means EU agriculture being less competitive globally.
The survey shows that concerns about carbon footprint, and also short supply chains remain important priorities for citizens:
- 60% of people are prepared to pay more for agricultural products that are produced with a reduced carbon footprint - 6 percentage points lower than 2020.
- 87% say a short supply chain is an important factor in their decision to buy food products.
- 70% of Europeans believe the EU, through the CAP, is fulfilling its role in ensuring a sustainable way to produce food.
Respondents were also asked questions about organic products:
- 92% of Europeans believe they are more expensive than other foods.
- Slightly more than 4 in 10 say finding organic products in their local shops and supermarkets is difficult.
- Since 2020, the number of Europeans who say organic products are difficult to find in their local area has decreased in 15 countries, most notably in Portugal, Greece, Austria and Czechia.
Securing the future of rural areas
According to the survey, more than nine out of ten EU citizens consider that in the EU, agriculture and rural areas are important for our future.