Soil Association welcomes CAP reform announcements
12 October 2011
Following proposals for a reform of the CAP after 2013 from the European Commission, which aim to 'strengthen the competitiveness, sustainability and permanence of agriculture throughout the EU', the Soil Association comments:
The Soil Association supports the European Commissioner's strong focus on stimulating employment in farming (in the UK organic farming generally creates over 70% more jobs), and on greening the CAP. The EU Audit Commission recognises the clear scientific evidence of the environmental benefits of organic farming.
We strongly support the compulsory 30% allocation of Pillar 1 payments to benefit the climate and the environment. We welcome the decision that certified organic farmers will be automatically eligible for this payment, without additional requirements, because, in the Commission's words "they are shown to provide clear ecological benefit".
In the Rural Development element, Pillar 2, the "new separate measure" for organic farming, designed to give organic farming "greater visibility", is particularly important for UK organic farmers, as we currently receive lower Pillar 2 payments in the UK than in any other EU Member State. We expect this new proposal from the European Commission to deliver a degree of fairness to British organic farmers that they are currently denied.
Read the European Commission press release here
Read more about the Legal proposals for the CAP after 2013 here