The future of agriculture starts now | WWF

The future of agriculture starts now

Posted on 01 February 2017
The future of agriculture starts now
Media Advisory
European Commission to launch public consultation on the Common Agriculture Policy

2 February 2017

The European Commission will launch its public consultation on how the EU's Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) should be reformed. This consultation will run for 12 weeks (tbc).

Why does this matter?
The public consultation is the start of an important debate that will determine largely what farming in Europe should look like in the future.  The consultation is expected to gather responses from the general public as well as a wide range of stakeholders, and it will inform upcoming decisions on the future direction of agriculture in Europe.

What’s WWF’s position?
WWF welcomes the public consultation, as it places the debate about the CAP where it must be: beyond the usual farming stakeholders to reach the wider society that is affected by (and financing!) this powerful EU policy tool.

Indeed, a broad debate is needed as alarm bells are ringing everywhere and the negative impacts of the current policies are felt widely: on the farms, on rural areas, on our food, on our health, on our climate, on our environment. The dire conditions of many farmers in Europe, the dramatic decline of our nature, the global pressures caused by climate change, water scarcity and a growing population require a fundamental rethink of Europe’s food and farming system.

WWF will actively engage in this public consultation and in the overall debate on the CAP, and calls on organisations from all sectors to join in.

“So far, all we have seen is aesthetic reforms of a fundamentally flawed policy, which have failed to address the huge socio-economic and environmental challenges we face. We need a fundamental reform of the CAP,” said Andreas Baumüller, Head of Natural Resources at WWF European Policy Office. “We have no time to waste: we must act now to turn the CAP into a policy that will enable the transition to a truly sustainable food and farming system for Europe, rather than hindering it. We have the opportunity to get this right, and we must seize it!”

“Changing our food and farming system to one that protects farmers, nature and consumers alike can be achieved, and the CAP is instrumental for this,” said Jabier Ruiz, Senior Policy Officer, Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems, WWF European Policy Office. “WWF stands ready to work with policy-makers at all levels on a fundamental rethink of our food and farming system, and a CAP that will support the changes we need. We will engage with all farmers and organisations who believe that by joining forces we can secure a future for sustainable farming.”

What’s next?
February-April: Public consultation on Future CAP
June - July 2017: European Commission conference to present main results of the public consultation
Summer 2017: EC publishes impact assessment of the policy options
November 2017: EC publishes a communication with guidelines for future CAP
First semester 2018 (tbc): EC publishes draft legislative texts for future CAP

Angelika Pullen, Communications Director, WWF European Policy Office,, +32 473 947 966
The future of agriculture starts now
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