In this file:
· EU Agriculture Not Viable for Future
· British meat industry ‘in panic’ over no-deal Brexit
EU Agriculture Not Viable for Future
The Cattle Site
06 August 2019
EU - The current reform proposals of the EU Commission on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are unlikely to improve environmental protection, say researchers led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the University of Göttingen.
According to the study, published in the journal Science, while the EU has committed to greater sustainability, this is not reflected in the CAP reform proposal. The authors show how the ongoing reform process could still accommodate conclusive scientific findings and public demand to address environmental challenges including climate change.
Agricultural areas cover 174 million hectares, or 40 percent of the EU area (over 50 percent in Germany). Land use intensification, primarily by agriculture, is identified by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) as the number one cause of biodiversity loss, with risk to human wellbeing resulting from losses of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
The European Union, and thus also Germany, has committed in various international agreements to shift toward sustainable agriculture, the protection of biodiversity, and combatting climate change. With approx. 40 percent of the total budget, the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is one of the most important policy areas for implementing these international commitments.
"The proposal made by the European Commission for the CAP post-2020, published in June 2018, demonstrates very little of this intention," says a research team led by Dr Guy Pe'er (iDiv, UFZ) and Dr Sebastian Lakner (University of Göttingen).
The researchers analysed the proposal for the CAP post-2020 with a focus on three questions: Is the reform proposal compatible with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), does it reflect public debate on agriculture, and, does it offer a clear improvement compared to the current CAP?
The analysis was based on a comprehensive review of the literature with about 450 publications, addressing issues such as effectiveness, efficiency and relevance of the CAP. The scientists' conclusion: The proposed CAP represents a clear step backwards compared with the current one.
"Taking sustainability and the SDGs seriously requires a deep reflection on agricultural policy, its budgets and instruments, and developing good indicators for measuring success," says ecologist Dr Pe'er.
"Beyond words, we found little of that." According to the researchers, the CAP has the potential to support at least nine of the seventeen SDGs, but currently it only contributes to achieving two of them.
The researchers also criticize that the EU wants to maintain some of the CAP instruments that have been proven to be inefficient, harmful to the environment and socially unfair. One key example for an inefficient instrument are the Direct Payments under the so-called Pillar 1 of the CAP.
Around 40 billion euros (about 70 percent of the CAP budget) are paid to farmers on the basis of the cultivated area alone. This leads to unequal funding distribution: 1.8 percent of recipients get 32 percent of the money.
"These compensatory payments, provisionally introduced in 1992 as an interim solution, are lacking a sound scientific justification," says agricultural economist Sebastian Lakner of the University of Göttingen. According to the researchers' analysis, Direct Payments contribute very little both to environmental or social goals.
This criticism is not new, and was already reflected by the EU in 2010 with the so-called 'Greening' of Direct Payments - but the Greening attempt was watered down by political pressure during the last reform process and ended up largely ineffective, say the researchers...
British meat industry ‘in panic’ over no-deal Brexit
By Aidan Fortune, GlobalMeatNews
A "sense of panic" is gripping the British meat industry as overseas customers are reportedly considering other options as the UK’s exit from Europe approaches.
Trade body British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has warned of the impact of a no-deal Brexit situation on the sector.
CEO Nick Allen said European customers who were considering buying British meat are now being confronted with multiple risks. “Chief among them is the possibility that they may well be saddled with tariffs as high as 65% on certain imports that are due for delivery after 31 October,” he said. “Committing to any orders or supply contracts that extend after the Brexit date therefore makes no sense whatsoever to our customers in Europe and, indeed, in the rest of the world.”
He said this reluctance to buy British produce will work its way along the supply chain.
“Reduced orders from our biggest and closest trading partner, which are not easily and quickly replicated elsewhere, will filter all the way back to UK farmers who will bear the brunt of this loss of trade. It will put many out of business and, once they’re gone, it won’t be easy to re-establish those farm businesses.
“Insurers that cover these consignments and facilitate the movement of goods between countries are refusing to indemnify against losses related to a no-deal Brexit. Couple that with a volatile exchange rate, mooted border delays and complete uncertainty surrounding whether Brexit will even happen on 31 October means the obvious solution for EU buyers is to source product from elsewhere.”
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US trade warning ...