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Nitrogen – Just Fix it! CAP’s Nature & Rotation Rules Under Threat

Crop rotations and space for nature are again under threat, as pressure mounts on basic conditionality in the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Under the pretext of the impact of the War in Ukraine, it has emerged that the European Commission and 16 member states are prepared to allow such exemptions from the basic environmental standards to be continued for beyond the initial 12 months proposed.  […]

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France, Food Sovereignty and Feed(ing the World)

In a roundup of recent news, Ashley Parsons find that words and personnel can change, but business-as-usual can keep replying on the institutions to bail them out – no strings attached.  Whatever the level of exposure and risk, whatever the talk of transitioning away from dependencies on agri-industrial inputs, money, it seems, will always be found for keeping the show on the road, whatever the crises.   […]

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All Hot Air? An Organic Action Plan without Farm to Fork Targets

The European Parliament voted this month to endorse the EU Action Plan for Organic Agriculture. The adopted action plan garnered 611 votes to 14, with five abstentions. What is missing however is any specific mention of the Farm to Fork target of shifting 25% of agriculture to organic. So, where’s the action in this action plan? Or is it all just hot air? Ashely Parsons has more.  […]

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 EU Institutions – Productivity Now, Environment Maybe Later

With war in Ukraine, the EU institutions made a concerted effort to shore up its highly exposed agri-industrial food system this week. Emergency money and ecologically protected lands are to be used for food security – as expressed through animal feed and mineral fertilizer supply. Along the way, delays and derailings to greener transition have occurred in pesticides regulation, in environmental elements of CAP, and more. So is the EU Green Deal becoming pie in the sky? Oliver Moore and Ashley Parsons report.   […]

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A Loud Lobby for a Silent Spring

It has emerged that the SUR – Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation – may not be announced next week, as initially planned. Rather, on Monday 21st a decision will be made to postpose or not. This is just one example of how the EU Farm to Fork strategy is in a perfect storm: the agribusiness lobby against sustainable policies is now reinforced by war in Ukraine. Op-ed by Nina Holland, researcher at Corporate Europe Observatory. Hans van Scharen, press officer at Corporate Europe Observatory. […]

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Green Deal-ing – Mid February EU News Round

With the French Presidency of the EU, some specific areas have come to the fore for farming, food and rural Europe. Under a broad-if-wooly EU Green Deal framework, carbon farming, pesticides, geographical indications, and reciprocal standards (mirror clauses) for third countries have received added impetus in this six month presidency. Ashley Parsons takes us though some of these, and some other hot topics, in this mid month round up for us. […]

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Commission’s Pesticide Proposals – what’s in them?

Current legislation on pesticide use and data collection is insufficient both for reaching reduction targets, and for assessing whether or not the goal was even reached. Now, a leaked version with new elements of the proposed reform to the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directives (SUD) has escaped into the Brussels bubble. The document outlines options for planned reforms by the EU Commission set for March 23.  So what’s in the leak?  Ashley Parsons reports. […]

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Ministers Move to Make Pesticide Reduction Targets Meaningless, New Reports Reveal

Imagine having a target to reduce pesticide use and risk by 50%, an aim to collect reliable data, the basic groundwork in place to reach it, and then working to make it far harder to actually collect the data to meet this target? Led by a group of 10 member states, the Council of Ministers has adopted a mandate for trilogue negotiations that does just this. […]

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Undeniable Success of the ECI “Save bees and farmers”

The success of the European Citizens’ Initiative “Save bees and farmers” in 2021 was a historic result in the journey to reduce synthetic pesticides, restore biodiversity on farmland and support farmers to transition to agroecology. If the initiative is accepted by the Commission, the Commission will have to analyse and respond to the citizens’ requests. This article originally appeared in Justice Pesticides’ December newsletter.  […]

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ARC Launches New Report on CAP as Member States Submit Strategic Plans

Today we launch a report on the CAP Strategic Plans process, as it has unfolded throughout 2021. The full document includes an overview, an analysis of the initial Commission recommendations, analyses of aspects of CAP in Germany (Green Architecture), Bulgaria (High Nature Value) Poland, Italy, precision farming, crop rotations, capping, and finally CAP and EU relations to third countries.   […]

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We’re Hiring! Call for CAP Policy Analyst and Animator for 2022

ARC2020 – The Agricultural and Rural Convention has worked on the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) since 2010. Run by a small team and guided by an international group of board members, ARC carries out research, publishes regular content and organises debates and events on key CAP-related issues. ARC is now looking for a part-time position to support the CAP Strategic Plan project in two related areas: analysing and developing content on the CAP Strategic Plans; organising NGO and institutional networking around the national strategic plans implementing the next CAP post 2022. […]