Intensive agriculture is destroying habitats and leading to nature loss. Over reliance on chemical inputs is polluting waterways and threatening farmers’ health. Intensive livestock production pollutes our air with 94% of ammonia emissions stemming from agriculture. Every year we lose 1.3 tonnes of soil for every person, costing farmers billions. Agriculture contributes 10% of EU greenhouse gas emissions and emissions from agriculture are on the rise again. Our farmland is at breaking point.

The EU’s Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) needs to be reformed so that public money is used to help farmers transition to less-intensive farm methods that protect and enhance our climate, nature, soil, water and air.

Nature benefits when farms diversify production away from monocultures and become less reliant on inputs from outside the farm such as imported feedstock, chemical pesticides and fertilisers. EU policies should consider everything from the climate and social impact of soy animal feed grown on deforested land and the fossil fuels burnt to produce mineral fertilisers, to the huge amounts of food waste our system produces and the cruel impact of factory farming on animal welfare.

There can be no more allocating huge amounts of taxpayers’ money (40% of the EU budget) to subsidise environmentally-harmful agriculture. Farmers are the guardians of our environment in rural areas and should be rewarded for preserving it. Europe’s farm system should benefit farmers and create much-needed jobs in rural communities.

Farming should work in harmony with nature and not against it. With enough political will it is possible to feed the world through sustainable agricultural practices that do not damage nature and human health.

77 %

of habitat types are in unfavourable conservation status


of protected species are in unfavourable conservation status

Library for Agriculture