Common Agricultural Policy and Common Market Organisation reforms: State of play and what is at stake?

These days are national organic movement’s last opportunities to advocate for better support for organic farming in the Common Agricultural Policy national Strategic Plans (CAP SPs) and reach the EU Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy’s targets

Common Agricultural Policy 2023-2027 reform & Strategic Plans
All CAP national Strategic Plans have been submitted with Belgium sending its last on Thursday 17 March. Now, the European Commission has three months to send its Observation Letters. By the end of March, we expect the Commission to send nineteen Observation Letters to the 19 Member States that submitted their plans on time. The Commission is still committed to approve all the CAP Strategic Plans by 31 December 2022.

In a Civil Dialogue Group (CDG) on the CAP on 2 March, our President Jan Plagge presented our last assessment of the support to organic farming in the CAP Strategic Plans 2023-2027. He stressed:

  • Low ambitious targets for organic farmland in several countries;
  • Insufficient budgets to reach these national targets in some countries;
  • Reduced levels of payments for organic in large agricultural countries such as Austria, Germany, France and Spain;
  • The lack of proportionality between organic farming payments and the environmental benefits it provides, compared to “light green” measures;
  • The difficulty for some organic farmers to have full access to different instruments (like agri-environmental and climate measures, Eco-schemes, investments, active farmer definition, etc.) and/or the reduction of payments they face when they want to combine some instruments (Germany/Finland).
  • Reduced “comparative advantage” for organic farming in the next CAP that will disincentivise farmers from transitioning to organic farming (Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Spain…).

During the CDG on Direct Payments and Greening on 18 March, the European Commission affirmed observations on organic farming will be sent to several countries, not all of them. As IFOAM Organics Europe, we and our members from Poland and France (Dorota Metera and Dominique Marion) asked questions related to organic farming practises in the CAP SPs. As EU organic movement, we also defended agroecological and organic solutions (like less intensive farming practises, non-use of nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides, etc.) to address the short-term and long-term issues raised by the war in Ukraine and reach the EU Farm to Fork Strategy’s targets.

Documents of the CDGs are available on our member extranet.

Regarding the CAP secondary legislation, most of the delegated and implementing acts have been voted. The European Commission is still working on secondary legislation for the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS).

Common Market Organisation (CMO) reform
Together with several members, we are currently working on the ‘sustainable agreements’ set under the CMO Article 210. This new article states ’Article 101(1) TFEU (on anti-trust rules) shall not apply to agreements, decisions and concerted practices of producers of agricultural products that relate to the production of or trade in agricultural products and that aim to apply a sustainability standard higher than mandated by Union or national law’. The European Commission is expected to provide guidelines by 8 December 2023.

In this regard, Bioland, Interbio-Nouvelle Aquitaine and IFOAM Organics Europe participated to a thematic group on sustainable agreementsorganised by the European Network for Rural Development – an organisation aimed at fostering dialogue between European/national stakeholders and the Commission. We provided concrete examples of the sustainable agreements that can be implemented and how they could offer compensatory remuneration for farmers and benefit the environment.

Two public consultations are currently open:

More information and a word about CDGs
For more information on the CAP, the CMO and IFOAM Organics Europe’s work on these issues, please contact [email protected]. IFOAM Organics Europe members can find more information on the member extranet and background materials in the arguments database on the member extranet (main messages, arguments/FAQs, visuals & videos).

Are you an IFOAM Organics Europe member and you do not have access to our member extranet? Or did you encounter issues logging in? Contact [email protected].

For information about what you can gain from being a member, read our membership page and contact [email protected].

To facilitate our interaction with our members in CDGs and share information with all of our members alike, we have a space on the extranet. It gives you easy access to agendas, presentations and minutes of these meetings, shows upcoming CDGs and provides you with useful links.

Should you have any questions regarding Civil Dialogue Groups, please write to [email protected].

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