A closer look at the EU's reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy



The Cattle Site - 12 October 2021


New policy analysis from AHDB looks at how the CAP is changing and how it compares with the UK's agriculture strategy.


As of June 2021, the EU reached an agreement on the reform of the new common agricultural policy (CAP) which will be rolled out from 2023.


Under the provisionally agreed new CAP, EU Member States will design their own national strategic plans, based on EU goals for social, environmental and economic sustainability in agriculture. The EU describes this new CAP as "fairer, greener and more flexible" and a vital component in fulfilling the EUís farm-to-fork strategy, in addition to the EUís Green Deal objectives. But how does this compare with UK policy?


A key reform of the new CAP is the introduction of a redistribution income support mechanism, which aims to better address the incomes of small and medium sized farms. Under this mechanism, EU countries will have to ensure at least 10% of their direct payment envelope is shared between these farms. Furthermore, Member States will be required to reduce the gap between levels of payments farmers receive across the same country, as part of the EUís aim to converge income support, both within individual countries and among EU states. Young farmers (up to 40) can also expect at least 3% of the direct payment budget per country under this proposal.


A clear difference between the CAP reform and the Agricultural Transition Plan is Englandís movement away from direct payments, known as the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), replacing these with a new set of environmental schemes, including the Sustainable Farming Incentive, over the next seven years...


What are the potential impacts of the CAP Reform? ...