Common Agricultural Policy

The shape of the Common Agricultural Policy in Europe was agreed at the end of June 2013. We welcome the explicit legal article that supports organic farming (Article 29) in the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) regulation. Previously, organic farming has only been included as one element in agri-environment schemes.

This was one of the few good outcomes in a deal that has otherwise done little to achieve a greener and fairer future for EU agriculture. The new shape of CAP for 2014-2020 also specifically supports organic farming in Pillar I, recognising it as ‘green by definition,’ and being able to deliver many important benefits.

The UK and devolved Governments are now in the process of agreeing with the EU how they will implement CAP reform. There are significant differences between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Whilst there is some good news for organic farmers, there are also some major concerns, not least the proposed absence of any support for organic farming in Northern Ireland. The Soil Association continues to press Defra and the developed nations to ensure a good deal for organic farmers in recognition of the high level of environmental and other services the system delivers.

Further information for farmers and growers

What will the Organic Conversion and Maintenance payments be?

Our payment rate comparison shows the proposed payment rates for organic maintenance and conversion in England, Wales and Scotland. No payments are proposed in Northern Ireland. Note that these are proposals which have yet to be confirmed with the EU.