WWF backs plans to stop mad-CAP farming
WWF welcomes today's proposals by the European Commission for a long-overdue reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
The proposals are to gradually shift subsidy payments for farmers away from the amount of food they produce, rewarding greater environmental management instead. By setting new standards and new ways of spending the money within the farming budget, Europe could benefit from a better farmed environment, improved animal welfare, and healthier food.
"At last we could have a farming policy that rewards farmers for looking after the environment, their animals, and for producing safe quality food — exactly what most consumers want, most taxpayers want, and most farmers can benefit from," said Adam Harrison, Rural Development Policy Officer for WWF Scotland.
"Europe is not proposing a cut in the budget and it is not proposing a tax on farming. All it is asking is for countries to recognise and reward farming that delivers more than mass-produced food with hidden costs to our health, the health of the environment, and the health of farm animals. If taken up, the proposals could free up almost a third of the current budget from production and make it available for all farmers to spend on improving the environment and forging a more sustainable future for themselves," added Harrison.
The Commssion is suggesting that small and family farms, the ones in remote areas of high natural and environmental value, won't have money withheld.
It is also suggesting that those big, industrial scale farmers who benefit hugely from the current system that rewards the production of food alone will have their payments capped.
The negotiations ahead will be an historic time for all Europe's agricultural ministers. WWF urges them to work for the greater good rather than for the benefit of single interests.
For further information:
Tel.: +44 1887 820 449
E-mail: jgrant@ wwfscotland.org.uk
WWF European Policy Office, Agriculture and Rural Development
Tel: +32 2 740 09 24