Agriculture

The world’s population is projected to be 9 billion by 2030, and the industrial giants of our food system would have us believe that ever more pesticides, fertilisers and GM crops will be needed to feed everyone. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, these toxic products not only pollute our water and air and exhaust our soils and threaten farmers’ health, they also destroy the very natural resources farmers need to produce safe, healthy, and nutritious food today – and for future generations

Indeed, Europe’s precious natural resources are under serious threat and industrial farming is the main driver of this habitat destruction and nature loss. Intensive farm practices such as over reliance on pesticides are polluting waterways and eroding soil. Overproduction of food, in particular meat, is contributing to climate change and harming public health through air pollution. Nearly 50% of grain produced globally is fed to livestock, while a third of all food produced globally for human consumption is lost or wasted. Only big agri-business profits from further ramping up production.

It is the whole food system that is broken and the biggest driver behind it is the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). The CAP, in a nutshell, is a big pot money (roughly 38% of the EU budget) and it is making our socio-economic, health and environmental problems worse by fostering unsustainable practices through untargeted annual payments to farmers.
While this policy was recently reformed in 2013 so that it would be greener, this so-called reform is only a reform on paper and has not materialised in our fields.

The EEB therefore campaigns for a radical reform of the CAP and related policies that would help farmers reduce their reliance on dangerous pesticides and sustain their yields over time through ecological farm practices which support nature to offer people a sustainable and healthy food and farming system.

We call for the complete abolition of harmful subsidies and work to encourage politicians to support farmers to be more environmentally-friendly by demonstrating that it is possible to feed the world through sustainable agricultural practices that do not damage nature and human health.

With this in mind, the EEB is EU leaders to initiate an ambitious overhaul of EU farm policy to stop rewarding the biggest farms which pollute the most and start supporting farmers only for protecting Europe’s wildlife and the natural resources on which food production depends so heavily, namely soil and water. For the time being citizens are asked to pay three times: for food, CAP subsidies and to repair the damages done to the environment, this can no longer be the case.

In early 2017, the EEB, alongside BirdLife Europe and WWF, launched the Living Land campaign. As part of the campaign, 258,708 citizens agreed with us that Europe’s food and farming system is broken and made their voice heard by taking part in the European Commission’s public consultation on the future of the CAP.

77 %

of habitat types are in unfavourable conservation status

60%

of protected species are in unfavourable conservation status

Farming

Letter to Oettinger on allocation of funds for environmental and climate action in future CAP
April 16, 2018
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Letter to EU institutions on animal farming
March 26, 2018
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Letter to Bulgarian Presidency requesting meeting ahead of 19 February 2018 Agriculture Council
February 14, 2018
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Letter to EU agriculture ministers ahead of 19 February 2018 Agriculture Council
February 14, 2018
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Report on CAP Fitness Check assessment - GERMAN
February 1, 2018
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Letter to MEPS on forthcoming trilogues on the Fertilisers Regulation review
January 24, 2018
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Briefing on CAP Fitness Check assessment - GERMAN
November 30, 2017
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Briefing on CAP Fitness Check assessment - SPANISH
November 30, 2017
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Presentation on CAP Fitness Check assessment
November 30, 2017
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Briefing on CAP Fitness Check assessment - FRENCH
November 30, 2017
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Report on CAP Fitness Check assessment
November 21, 2017
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Briefing on CAP Fitness Check assessment - ENGLISH
November 21, 2017
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Briefing on cadmium: the toxic carcinogen on your plate
November 16, 2017
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Briefing on cadmium: the toxic carcinogen on your plate
October 9, 2017
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Position Paper on the CAP
September 4, 2017
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Report on Who will fix the broken CAP? conference
July 20, 2017
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References for factsheet on nitrogen
July 13, 2017
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Factsheet on promoting nutrient recovery & reuse: nitrogen pollution & farming
July 13, 2017
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Briefing ahead of fertilisers regulation IMCO vote on 13.07.17
July 13, 2017
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Comment on European Directive 200898EC - EU food waste campaign
June 21, 2017
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