Soil Association to host debate on CAP reform

28 July 2010

Key farming and environmental organisations will take part in a debate on the future of the CAP in October.

The Soil Association is hosting a debate on ‘The future of the Common Agricultural Policy’ with the National Farmers Union, Country Land and Business Association, National Trust, and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

“The context of CAP reform is influenced by competing objectives,” says Molly Conisbee, the Soil Association’s director of communications. “The European Commission is seeking to make the CAP as ‘climate friendly’ as possible, but this is inevitably being influenced by a range of national political agendas for agriculture.

“We want to use this debate to discuss the European Commission’s report on their initial CAP consultation and, in particular, whether the CAP is still the best mechanism for supporting agriculture at domestic and European levels. If so, how can it best support a range of objectives – including food security and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – as well as a wider range of objectives beyond agriculture, such as conservation of wildlife and landscape?”

The debate will take place on 7 October 2010 at the National Farmer’s Club in London. The panel includes Peter Melchett (Soil Association), Peter Kendall (NFU), Professor Allan Buckwell (CLA), Helen Browning (National Trust) and Dr Mark Avery (RSPB). Julian Gardiner of Farmer’s Weekly will chair the debate.

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