A group of five MEPs from the Socialist and Democrat group from Belgium, France, Italy and Hungary have asked for a reconsideration of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). This builds on the March 2016 call by more than one hundred NGOs, including Fern, for the EU to carry out a Fitness Check of the CAP.
The MEPs have asked for different political groups to think about how the future of agriculture can be “respectful of biodiversity and human health, and […] can provide a decent living for those that work in the sector.” The future of the CAP is also being debated in the informal Agriculture Council under the Dutch presidency.
To ensure it does not to contribute to deforestation, any CAP reform must overhaul the financial support mechanisms that drive the intensive agricultural system for meat and dairy. The system currently relies on imports for protein feeds, and is one of the leading factors driving deforestation in the tropics. NGOs hope the MEPs’ action will open opportunity to exchange views and ultimately lead to CAP reform that also meets the EU’s commitments to stop deforestation by 2020.