Latest from Brussels

Pesticides under Pressure | EU Parliament and Progressive Places Putting Biodiversity First

With insect Armageddon and biodiversity collapse making the headlines, pesticides are public enemy No. 1. Scientists are now naming and shaming pesticides as a key driver of biodiversity loss. Even the European Parliament has caught the bug. MEPs insist that the new CAP must do more to shrug off our dependency on agrochemicals. Meanwhile farmers are showing that – with the right supports – instead of scapegoats for biodiversity loss, they can be part of the solution. […]

Latest from key partners

Future of CAP – is the Commission ambitious or backsliding?

Here we round up some recent perspectives on the Commission’s CAP proposal. This includes a summary of the 18 months of work that went into the document(s), concern over capping backsliding, a briefing on conditionality, which member states want to keep the cash as it was, and an Urgenci (CSA) and Birdlife perspective. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Ireland | More Organic Producers Would Improve Farming’s Overall Sustainability

With Ireland edging towards reopening its organic farming scheme – closed since 2015 to new entrants, and closed in 2014 for a year too too – the context of organic farming within the overall agri-food sector is worth exploring. What would it mean for Irish agriculture in general to have a bigger, more vibrant organic sector? Particular attention is paid to the public goods of biodiversity and water quality. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Ecological Focus Area in Germany: What Influences Farmers’ Decisions?

Catch crops (68%), fallow land (16.2%) and nitrogen fixing crops (11.8%) dominated ecological focus areas (EFAs) in Germany in 2015. Why is this? What influences farmers’ decisions on EFAs? One of the authors of a new peer reviewed publication on this topic, ARC2020 regular Sebastian Lackner, summarises the paper, in which he and colleagues interviewed a range of experts on the matter. […]

Latest from Brussels

CAP Greening | EFAs in Focus

Using a recent document by the Commission on Ecological Focus Areas – EFAs – this long read traces the story of The Common Agriculture Policy’s EFAs. EFAs are up for discussion and consideration once again, as current Commissioner Phil Hogan seems intent on banning pesticides from these areas. They may, after all, emerge as a way to protect biodiversity and the ecosystem and agri services nature provides. In four parts. […]