Write to your MEP with your views on CAP
Please consider writing to your MEP with your views on CAP reform. Negotiations will be happening for the next year in Brussels. If you agree with us, you might like to include some of the following issues, or even copy and paste these points into a letter. Though please note that your views will have much more power if you use your own words. For details of who your MEP is and their contact details visit the Write to them website.
- Public goods like environment, wildlife, health and climate do not have an adequate price in the market, so their provision depends on state intervention. Public payments can help tackle this market failure, at least in the short term.
- Agriculture accounts for about half of the European land area and farming is a key activity for addressing some of this century’s greatest challenges. Stemming the collapse of biodiversity, mitigating and adapting to climate change, providing an affordable healthy diet and maintaining plentiful, clean water resources require profound changes to the ways in which land is managed.
- Europe’s biodiversity has co-evolved with traditional farming activities and many species currently depend on specific agricultural management. This, as well as the sensitivity of food production, makes farming inherently different from other economic sectors.
- Ensuring that there is sufficient funding for the conversion to and maintenance of organic farming. This should be achieved by strengthening the 2nd pillar budget (50% of CAP budget) and by ring-fencing a significant share (50%) of the rural development programmes’ budget for measures that deliver to environmental objectives such as organic farming.
- Organic farming must be made a mandatory measure under the rural development programmes and should be eligible for 80% EU co-funding.
- Organic farming should be specifically included as a priority in relevant rural development measures such as advisory services, investments and producer groups.
- The Greening of the first pillar needs improvement regarding the overall sustainability of food systems. “Crop diversification” should require including protein crops in the crop rotation, the protection of permanent grassland should include a maximum livestock density on pastures.
- We support the intention to protect permanent grassland, but the proposed criteria need to be refined to take account of the great diversity of different grasslands covered by the present definition. As regards historical pasturelands which have never been ploughed, the protection should be absolute. However, many areas currently defined as permanent grassland are in fact land in traditional crop rotations which include 7-10 years of grassland. If this land could be kept in the long duration rotation system, it could bring overall environmental benefits.
- The Greening of the first pillar should raise the level of environmental performance for all farmers, but should not be used as an excuse to reduce the payments targeting the environment in the second pillar
Finally, thanks to everyone who responded to the public debate on CAP. The results were extremely positive.