CAP Reform proposals mean big changes for organic from 2014

ORC researchers Nic Lampkin and Susanne Padel today present to OCW’s Welsh Organic Conference their evaluations of European support policies for organic farming implemented since 2007, as well as the CAP reform legislative proposals published by the EU Commission on 12th October 2011.

The evaluation of European organic support policies presented by Susanne Padel highlighted the wide variation in support levels for organic farming between and within Member States, with UK support levels well down the European league table. A more detailed analysis of these support schemes forms part of a research project currently being conducted for the European Commission by ORC and other international partners. Further details of the findings will be published in due course when the reports have been accepted and released for publication by the Commission.

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform legislative proposals published on 12th October confirmed the enhanced status of organic farming support within the CAP framework that had been trailed by earlier announcements. Organic farmers will automatically qualify for the uncapped Greening top-up (worth 30% of the Direct Payments from 2014) with no additional requirements as they are shown to provide a clear ecological benefit. Organic farming will also be a standalone measure within future the Rural Development programme, a move designed to make this element of the RDP more visible. However, Nic Lampkin warned the conference that there would be further work needed to ensure that unintended consequences, for example reduced levels of RDP support, isolation from other RDP measures and trade distortions due to inconsistencies in policy implementation between and within Member States.

A full summary of the CAP reform proposals with particular emphasis on the organic farming-related aspects can be found on our CAP reform web page.

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