Latest from Brussels

Flagrant Vagueness | Commission Launches a Vision Without a Strategy

The European Commission published its Communication on A long-Term Vision for the EU’s rural areas on Wednesday June 30th. There is much that’s worth recognising and lauding in this, including a new ‘Rural Pact’. However there are serious gaps and significant blind spots. In particular, the how and when elements – strategy and immediacy  – are conspicuous in their absence. […]

Latest from EU Member States

CAP Strategic Plans: Germany Taking Steps in the Right Direction?

In March 2021, the German Agriculture Ministers’ Conference and the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture agreed on important cornerstones for the country’s CAP Strategic Plan. In his preliminary assessment, Sebastian Lackner shows that while the resolutions have opened the door for a more ambitious CAP in Germany, it remains to be seen whether the federal and state governments will seize the opportunity when they decide on details still to be negotiated. […]

Latest from Brussels

Cut The Crap, Withdraw The CAP!

Climate striker Sommer Ackerman became active in protests for a better CAP in October 2020.  She combines activism at EU level in the WithdrawTheCAP campaign with activism at national level to make agri-food policy change in Finland. […]

Latest from the ARC network

More Legumes Please!

A newly published paper seeks to reposition legumes as protagonists in policy debates and encourage us to identify policies that would better support the transformation of European food- and feed-systems to a new norm, with greatly increased production and consumption of homegrown legumes and homegrown legume-based products. A savoury account of legume policy by lead author Bálint Balázs. […]

Latest from Brussels

Damning Report on CAP Cash in Central and Eastern Europe Released

There are “strong links between politics and the biggest beneficiaries of the subsidies” in five Central and East European member states of the EU.  That’s according to a new in-depth study “Where does the money go”, which examines the implementation of the EU agriculture funds in Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and the Czech Republic. The study, which was commissioned by the Greens/EFA political group in the European Parliament, sheds a stark light on how the CAP is not only funding degradation of biodiversity but also degrading democracy. Hans van Scharen reports. […]

Main stories

OECD – Agri-Food Policy Coherence Needed

Questioning unlimited growth in demand and emphasising the impact of societal pressures on productivity and yield, a new OECD report argues for more coherent and holistic farm and food policies. ‘As in other sectors, the economic interests pursued by food and beverage companies are not necessarily aligned with public interests’ the report states. Hans Wetzels has more.  […]

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. […]