Latest from Brussels

CAP | Time for Commission to Get Real on Spending, Say Auditors

The EU spends a lot on CAP – almost 40% of its annual budget. But are these billions of euros delivering results? In a new report, the European Court of Auditors find the Commission is “overly optimistic” on the performance of CAP spending and needs to focus on the real impacts. It also confirms that 80% of direct payments are going to 20% of beneficiaries. Louise Kelleher reports. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Ireland | EIPs make the case for a better CAP

A group of EIPs – European Innovation Partnerships – has come together in Ireland to argue the case for this environmentally engaged form of farming. So what’s next – will some of the methods and approaches used in these EIPs become templates for other farming regions in Ireland, or for the design of CAP schemes, or for more market-orientated approaches such as PDO and PGI? Here we publish a joint letter by a number of EIPs from Ireland to help stimulate this debate.  […]

Latest from EU Member States

Catcher in the Rye: Breeding Diversity for Unpredictable Conditions

The new EU organic regulation, to be implemented in 2022, promises new opportunities especially for young farmers to regain control and knowledge of local conservation, breeding, sustainable use and marketing of seeds fit for organic production. As part of the team that negotiated the new EU organic regulation, ARC2020 President Hannes Lorenzen is curious about how the new less restrictive conditions for organic seed production and marketing will impact breeders and farmers. He spoke to an organic plant breeder and a young farmer about their ideas on the future of seeds. […]

Latest from key partners

Milking The Planet: How Big Dairy Is Heating Up The Planet And Hollowing Rural Communities

Big Dairy’s greenhouse gas emissions are increasing, but the corporations responsible are not being held to account. Meanwhile consolidation in the dairy industry is squeezing smaller operators and hurting rural communities. It’s time to hold agribusiness accountable for its climate footprint, argues Shefali Sharma in a new report from the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy. […]

Latest from Brussels

CAP | Billions Spent on Biodiversity with Little Impact – Auditors

The EU has funnelled €66 billion into farmland biodiversity since 2014 – and has little to show for it. That’s the conclusion of a special report released on Friday by the European Court of Auditors. The auditors slammed the half-baked targets of the EU 2020 biodiversity strategy, its odd-couple relationship with CAP, lack of monitoring, and some very un-smart spending by the European Commission. A series of recommendations have been made. Louise Kelleher reports. […]

Latest from EU Member States

EU Pesticide Risk Assessment Practices Slammed in New Study

A new peer-reviewed paper has identified systemic failings in Europe’s pesticide risk assessment process. Written by Claire Robinson and a group of experts in law, policy, and toxicology, our paper outlines how these failings could seriously undermine ambitions for sustainable agriculture and a “green recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic – and proposes a comprehensive agenda for reform. […]

Latest from Brussels

Commission Announces Return of Private Milk Storage

The EU Commission announced today private storage aid for meat and dairy, flexibility for market support programmes in wine, fruits and vegetables, olive oil, apiculture and the EU’s school scheme (milk, fruits and vegetables) and derogation from some EU competition rules in milk, flowers and potatoes. […]

Latest from Brussels

Poking Holes in Farm to Fork: Health Groups Take The Strategy’s Temperature

The Farm to Fork strategy aspires to fix our broken food systems while advancing the EU’s sustainability goals. In this three-part series we hear what environmental, health and farming organisations have to say about Farm to Fork so far. Here, Natasha Foote reports on some of the key voices in the health sector to bring us their take on the strategy as it currently stands. […]

Swiss water
Latest from EU Member States

Shifting Subsidies in Switzerland – the Clean Drinking Water Initiative.

Switzerland is well known for holding referendums. A new one that’s coming up asks for a change in subsides to farmers, towards supporting more ecological priorities. If the Clean Drinking Water Initiative passes, payments will go to farmers who don’t use pesticides or antibiotics, and who carry lower livestock numbers  on their farms. Klaus Lans has more. […]