Latest from EU Member States

Belgium | The Hidden Cost of Food Waste Redistribution

Redistributing food waste is surely a win for the environment and for society. So why is it such an uphill struggle? In the Belgian capital, a project called ‘Feed the culture’ helps out workers in the arts sector who are struggling to put food on the table because of the COVID-19 closures. Natasha Foote speaks to the volunteers on the ground in Brussels. […]

algal bloom in the central Baltic Sea
Latest from EU Member States

Poland | Drowning in Algae: Dead Zones in the Baltic Sea

Marine life in the Baltic Sea is drowning in algae. Largely to blame is nutrient run-off from intensive pig producers, thanks to a model of factory farming largely unchecked by EU regulations. Experts are calling for closed nutrient cycles to combat eutrophication – and engaging with the polluters to find solutions. Hans Wetzels reports from Poland. […]

Latest from Brussels

Will the CAP Post 2020 be Fairer – and What Does That Mean?

The post 2020 reform promised to deliver a fairer CAP: better targeting and distribution of resources. At the core of a fairer CAP, the Commission introduced mandatory capping – upper limits to payments – and degressivity – progressive reduction of payments above a certain level – to address a skewed distribution of around 80% of direct payments to only 20% of European farms. […]

Latest from Brussels

Series | Where Next for CAP – Can Strategic Plans Deliver?

While the next CAP reform is still in discussion at the Council, and the European Parliament has not yet taken a final position, Samuel Féret explains the rationale of the new concept of CAP Strategic Plans (CSP) for a future CAP as proposed by the European Commission. This is intended as a pivotal piece of the future new delivery model, probably the biggest proposed change in how the CAP is set to operate in the future. The first in a five part article series on where next for CAP. […]

Rainy day for UK farming
Latest from EU Member States

Rainy day for UK farm incomes

The UK all-farm average business income is GBP 47000 for the year 2012-13, according to official figures released by DEFRA. However the ministry figure includes an average of GBP 25000 for Single Payment Scheme (SPS) money, which is not directly generated on any farm. So an adjusted headline figure for earnings from farming would be GBP 22000 between those working the farm: less than the average weekly earnings for an employee in a food factory (source: National Office for Statistics). DEFRA attributes the slide to a poor growing season and difficult conditions for cropping and livestock sectors alike. Higher feed costs were blamed for a 50% fall in lowland grazing incomes (average GBP 16500), while their upland counterparts in Less Favoured Areas (LFAs) suffered a 35% drop in earnings (average GBP 19500). DEFRA concedes that both categories of farming activity lost money saying they: “…failed to make a positive return from agriculture…” Yet the ministry insists on blaming the lower exchange rate for reduced CAP receipts, as if these were a direct product of farming. […]