New changes to the EU Common Agricultural Policy

14 February 2019

The Environment Committee in the European Parliament voted today on amendments to Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) regulation and I was pleased to see some of my own proposals pass.

This vote now recognises agroforestry as a standard agricultural activity like any other. Farmers will no longer be penalised for having trees on arable land and permanent grassland, as it used to be in the previous reform.

This will bring change to the way we view and utilise agricultural landscape, so I was also pleased to see that my suggestion to offer training and advisory services which cover transitioning to agro-ecological practices, including agroforestry, was also voted through.

Farmers will thus be offered expert assistance if they opt for this important transition beneficial for the climate, water cycle, prevention of desertification and farm diversification, and can also be seen as an enabling element for circular bioeconomy. I have been pushing for funding to be earmarked for voluntary climate and environmental scheme that farmers can seek to be part of individually as well as collectively. So it was good to see fellow MEPs supporting the allocation of 30% of the budget to eco-schemes.

Finally, we also voted to remove support for the intensive animal production system, a measure which I proposed next to a number of my colleagues.

The next set of votes on these proposals will take place in the Agriculture Committee. The ball is now in their court. Yet still in mine too, as I sit on both committees!

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