Fertilizers Europe welcomes the public consultation on modernizing the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) launched by EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan. The association contributed to the debate with the below position paper and extracts of the position paper are included in this press release.
Fertilizers Europe is strongly convinced that a full liberalization or renationalization of CAP, the only truly European policy, would not only be a historic and geopolitical mistake, it would also put most of the European farmers in an unfair competition at a global scale. Instead, the CAP post 2020 must promote smart farming in Europe thanks to knowledge-intensive land management and the increasing amount of data available in order to enable all types of farmers in Europe to become more competitive and have a better environmental performance. Thus, a modernized CAP must support the competitiveness of European farmers, whilst better rewarding their environmental performance and ensuring a higher level of entrepreneurial freedom. In a simpler CAP, Integrated Farming Systems and farms implementing well-known sustainability schemes (like the Cool Farm Tool) should also be deemed fulfilling the greening obligations under pillar 1.
Post 2020, the Common Agricultural Policy should promote good nutrient stewardship, and thus contribute to Europe’s efforts to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. For instance, Agri-Environment-Climate payments focusing on nutrient management, which are currently implemented in some EU Member States via their respective Rural Development Programs, should in the future be generalized in all European countries thanks to a modernized CAP. In addition, the future CAP should also include policy measures that foster practices aimed at improving the Nitrogen Use Efficiency Indicator (NUE Indicator). Farmers should be regarded within a simpler CAP for continued progressive assessment of their NUE and this is where Farm Advisory Services should play an active role. Smart and knowledge-intensive farming must be supported by a modernized CAP to encourage farmers to implement good fertilization practices, thus also improving their resource efficiency and contributing to a reduced carbon footprint of farming.