CAP post 2020

On 1 June 2018, the European Commission presented the legislative proposals on the future of food and farming, i.e. future of Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).

The CAP post-2020 will be based on nine objectives and its overarching aim will be to to support the European farming model with an increased focus on the environment and climate change, encouraging the transition towards a more sustainable agricultural sector.

What is new in the proposed legislation?

Moving from compliance to performance

The European Commission has proposed a system, aiming at simplifying and modernising the way the CAP works for farmers and EU countries alike. The’one-size-fits all’ approach will be changed to give more freedom to EU countries, letting them decide on the way to meet common objectives set at EU level and on how to best respond to the needs of their farmers and rural communities.

Focus on Nutrient Management

For the first time, the EU Commission has also put the focus in its proposals on nutrient management. It is proposed that all EU farmers will have to implement an obligatory nutrient management tool – “Farm Sustainability Tool for Nutrients”- that would contribute in reducing ammonia and N2O emissions from the agriculture sector and improve water quality in Europe. 

Such a tool would compile information from satellite data, soil sampling and land parcel information and would be directly accessible to farmers in order to help them make informed decisions on nutrient requirements.

The perspective of Fertilizers Europe 

Fertilizers Europe sees the proposal of this Tool as a positive step forward.  A farm sustainability tool will definitely enhance best agricultural management practices in Europe and enable farmers to meet the double challenge of producing food for all at an affordable price while reaching the environmental targets.


From the perspective of Fertilizers Europe the tool should:


  • Help farmers to reach better yields, and possibly savings on fertilizer application by focusing on the needs of the plants.
  • Promote balanced plant nutrition, the improvement of crop quality and an increase of nutrient use efficiency. 

The Nitrogen Use Efficiency indicator developed by the EU Nitrogen Expert Panel can be one of the metrics that would perfectly fit in the tool.

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Nutrient Stewardship

The CAP post-2020 could also support good nutrient stewardship by encouraging the up-take of precision nutrition by farmers; through the use of products with better formulations, micro-nutrients and agronomic additives (like nitrification inhibitors for instance) combined with a knowledge-based application of mineral fertilizers to support agronomic and environmental efficiency.