Organisations from the food, farming, development, climate, environmental, and public health movements across the EU, have come together to express strong alarm at the current failure of the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to reflect the priorities of the European Green Deal. The new CAP must become a powerful policy transformation tool to initiate the urgently needed transition towards sustainable and socially just food systems.
Together with NGOS and national coalitions from across Europe, ARC2020 urges the President of the European Commission, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament to align the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) with the priorities of the European Green Deal.
The CAP must:
1. Give the CAP a clear direction and robust governance
2. Ensure the CAP does not support or incentivise any harmful practices or practices that are
incompatible with the Green Deal
3. Empower farmers and rural actors to be drivers of positive change.
This latter point on farmers and rural actors means there is a need to “dedicate sufficient and qualitative CAP funding to incentivise and reward farmers to deliver on the objectives of the EGD, including on reducing pesticides, fertilisers and antimicrobials use, increasing organic farming, agroecology and agroforestry, deploying high-biodiversity landscape features, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, preventing food loss and waste, improving the circularity of the agriculture sector, through better nutrients cycling, protecting and restoring ecosystems (especially in Natura 2000 and protected areas), and shifting dietary patterns” the letter states.
Moreover CAP instruments should be developed “to strengthen value capture in local economies through short supply chains, to promote health- and sustainability-oriented business models in rural areas, and to encourage and support farmers to undertake a transition to agroecological farming systems, including by lowering their animal stocking density and diversifying their production.”
With the CAP process at an important stage, Hannes Lorenzen, president of ARC2020 points out that “the Commission’s original ambition for CAP has been weakened…the Commission should amend and adapt parts of the CAP proposal which need reworking in light of the political changes that have occurred. These political changes include the European Green Deal, in particular the farm to fork and biodiversity strategies. There is a real opportunity to make these amendments – they can and should be dealt with at the coming trilogue stage.” (Hannes Lorenzen ARC2020)