Towards sustainable agriculture: The role of the new Common Agricultural Policy

Towards sustainable agriculture: The role of the new Common Agricultural Policy

Our new project is based on a recent publication by Dr Alexandra Langlais, a researcher at CNRS and a valued partner in the NOVASOIL project. 

With an extensive background in the study of agricultural and environmental policy, Langlais provides an important legal perspective on the transition to more sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural practices. His work not only highlights the importance of legislation in agroecology, but also serves as a guide to understanding how policy can be aligned with broader environmental goals.

“Transitioning to more sustainable agricultural practices is an imperative in a world where sustainability has become essential”

The latest publication makes it clear that we are facing a world in which sustainability has become an imperative, and agriculture is no exception. Essential to our food production and way of life, the sector faces the challenge of adapting to practices that are more respectful of the environment and communities. Aware of these challenges, the European Union has reformed its Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to focus more than ever on sustainability and agroecology.

The CAP has been a pillar of agricultural regulation in Europe since 1962, dictating policies that influence what and how we farm. The latest version of this policy marks a significant shift towards the integration of sustainable practices. These changes are in line with a global trend towards agroecology, an approach that seeks to further integrate nature and communities into agriculture, minimize environmental impacts and enhance biodiversity.

“The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was reformed with unprecedented focus on sustainability and agroecology”

Agroecology not only focuses on the sustainable use of natural resources, but also promotes a more equitable relationship between people and the land. This approach offers many benefits, such as improving soil health, conserving water and reducing dependence on harmful chemicals. In addition, agroecology can help strengthen rural communities and provide pathways to more local and sustainable economies.

However, the transition to more sustainable agricultural practices is not without its challenges. One of the main barriers is the need for significant up-front investment in education and infrastructure. In addition, farmers often face economic uncertainties that can discourage the adoption of new practices. Despite these challenges, CAP reform offers opportunities for farmers to receive financial and technical support to ease the transition.

The new CAP places particular emphasis on the “strategic plans” that each Member State must develop to meet specific environmental and climate change objectives. These plans are essential to ensure that CAP support is used effectively to promote more sustainable agriculture.

“Agroecology promotes an equitable relationship between people and the land, enhancing biodiversity and reducing dependence on harmful chemicals”

It must be emphasized that as Europe moves towards a model of agriculture that is more respectful of the planet and its inhabitants, the CAP is a key tool in this process. It is a time of change and opportunity, where every action and every decision can contribute to a greener and fairer future. As consumers, we can support this transition by choosing products that come from sustainable farming practices and by supporting policies that promote sustainability in agriculture.

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