EU Commission CAP simplification greening plans come in for criticism from Copa & Cogeca

Copa & Cogeca Presidents sent a letter to the EU Commission today warning against latest EU Commission plans to simplify the greening measures under the Common Agricultural Policy, saying that they will not make life easier for farmers.

Copa President Martin Merrild said “We welcome EU Commissioner Hogan’s simplification agenda but so far we haven’t seen tangible results for farmers. In the case of greening, the proposals for simplification that are being discussed will not make farmers’ lives simpler. They need certainty and not additional complexity. Presidents of the agricultural and cooperative organisations from across Europe discussed this extensively this week and we have given it the highest priority”.

“In particular, it’s unacceptable that the Commission is considering banning the use of pesticides for protein crops in Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs). This also does not amount to simplification. We need to allow the use of plant protection products for nitrogen fixing crops, land lying fallow and catch crops/green cover under EFAs”, he stressed.

“It is also a problem that that there will be an increase from 6 to 9 months of the period for land lying fallow and the increase to 10 weeks as the minimum common duration for catch crops and green cover”, he warned.

Cogeca President Mr Magnusson went on to outline ways which would actually make life simpler for farmers and enable them to get on with what they do best: produce food. “We need to clarify the definition of permanent grassland and allow more flexibility in varieties present in seed mixtures. Durum wheat and soft wheat should also be seen as two different crops in crop diversification”, he said.

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