Today the European Parliament voted in Plenary to approve the EU’s farming policy, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), for the coming years. The newly-approved CAP is a disaster for small-scale farms, the environment, and the climate.
After years of discussion and delays – the first CAP reform proposal was tabled in June 2018, and was supposed to be agreed upon by 2020 and enter into force by 2021 – today the European Parliament has put an end to negotiations and twists.
The EU CAP Regulation was voted on and will enter into force in 2023. While Member States can still show some ambition in their National Strategic Plans, which are being drafted and are due to be sent to the European Commission by the end of the year, the EU policy is disappointing in many ways. The deal fails to adequately address the pressing issues of climate change and biodiversity loss, it fails to address the issues of fairness in the distribution of subsidies and favors an industrial agricultural model that rewards farmers according to how many hectares they have rather than the sustainability of their practices.
No explicit inclusion of the Farm to Fork Strategy targets in the CAP, no binding objectives linking to the Green Deal. Everything has changed, to stay the same. The old file has been painted in green but will in fact keep supporting an industrial and polluting model of agriculture, at least until 2027. Civil society and environmental groups have voiced their discontent and asked Members of the European Parliament to vote down the CAP, without success. Slow Food joins their voices and shares the disappointment.
“The Slow Food movement considers this CAP reform will fail to deliver a real ecological transition in the agricultural sector. The CAP, on which the ambitions of the Commission’s Green Deal and EU Farm to Fork Strategy depend, misses the opportunity to build a resilient food system that is environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable. While society and youth continue to voice their readiness to advance towards an environmentally conscious future, this historic policy is lagging behind and will continue to subsidize an industrial, destructive, and unsustainable farming model” comments Marta Messa, Slow Food Europe Director.
In collaboration with the Good Food Good Farming Campaign, Slow Food has delivered clear messages from civil society and farmers, showing discontent with the current CAP, and asking for better support for small scale agroecological farmers.
We place our hope in the ambition of Member States and in the approval process of the National Strategic Plans by the European Commission, which has promised to review them in light of how they contribute to the Green Deal.