Greens take issue with Europe’s CAP proposals

The Green party has "slammed" proposed reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in the European Parliament, claiming they do not go anywhere near far enough in addressing the environmental consequences of European agriculture.

Green MEP for the south-east of England Keith Taylor explained the weak proposals would not get the UK anywhere near close enough to the development of an environmentally sustainable agriculture sector.

"The plans are voluntary and riddled with exemptions, so they will clearly fail to fundamentally shift farming to a sustainable path. On top of this, the watered-down proposals on crop rotation are likely to increase the use of environmentally unsound chemicals on the food we eat," Taylor said.

Greens have also taken issue with the propsals’ "lack of ambition" when it comes to creating a fairer farming system in Europe.

Taylor added: "We would have liked to see a much lower cap on the amount that each farm can claim from so-called direct payments. These reforms will see huge agri-businesses, and rich land-owners will continue to receive up to €300,000 per-year. The Parliament has also missed an opportunity to tie direct payments to serious improvements in animal welfare and the creation of good agricultural jobs."

The CAP is the biggest part of the EU’s budget and makes up 40% of its spending, which totals €58bn each year.

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