Press Release: CAP trilogues must lead to a greener and fairer CAP

Transition towards greener farming practices and advanced sustainability need to guide the political negotiations between EU Institutions. On the eve of the opening of inter-institutional negotiationson the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) the IFOAM EU Group (1) calls on the chief EU negotiators to remember the great responsibility they have to respond to the needs of farmers and citizens, and therefore deliver a CAP reform that places
sustainability at the heart of EU agricultural policy.

“With Minister Coveney, Commissioner Ciolos, COMAGRI Chair De Castro and their colleagues now facing each other at the negotiation table, EU citizens’ demands (2) to mainstream sustainable food and farming must be their guide,” said Christopher Stopes, President of the IFOAM EU Group. “Untargeted direct payments must end and strong greening is needed. As the Commission and  arliament propose (3), the greening package must ensure that all farmers in receiving public  upport are required to fulfil basic agronomic measures. Organic farmers must be recognised for their environmental delivery and contributions to climate action. Exemptions from greening as proposed by the Council under Pillar 1 must be rejected.”

“Organic farmers are pioneers in the long-term development of our rural areas. Therefore we demand comprehensive support for agro-ecological approaches to be at the heart of the CAP reform,” added Jan Plagge Chairman of IFOAM EU Farmer Sector Group. “The Parliament’s position (4) that Member States should be legally required to allocate at least 25% of rural development spending to agri-environment-climate measures and organic farming is a small success that must be defended in the trilogue. However, we regret that the EU institutions have not made more ambitious and decisive steps towards supporting agro-ecological approaches in Pillar 2.”

“Funds desperately needed for advanced sustainability measures in Pillar 2 are severely threatened by the EU Institutions’ support for the introduction of costly insurance schemes which do not promote long-term and viable business models for farmers,” concluded Thomas Fertl, IFOAM EU Policy Vice President. “This could also be the case with the Council proposal which would allow double funding of low entry environmental schemes under Pillar 1 and 2 for exactly the same practices on the same area. The continued waste of taxpayers’ money must stop. Money should instead support advanced sustainability approaches in Pillar 2 including organic farming which are proven to boost green food production, enhance environmental and climate action and
green job creation (5).”

More information:
IFOAM EU Group, phone + 32-2-280 12 23, Fax: +32-2-735 73 81,
info [at] ifoam-eu.org, www.ifoam-eu.org