More frequent heat waves and floods, the decline in species or the pollution of groundwater clearly show that the current design of European agricultural policy is misguided from the point of view of nature conservation and against the background of climate change. Both politicians and we as civil society urgently need to initiate a change here!
In order to initiate this change, we at Naturefund, together with various partners, have developed an idea paper for a more sustainable design of European agricultural policy. The top priority is to build up humus in the soil, because: Healthy soil serves as a water and carbon reservoir, is crucial for the growth of healthy plants and for the preservation of biodiversity. We also want to focus on creating stable agroecosystems and providing biodiversity-promoting structures with functioning nutrient cycles. Dynamic agroforestry could be a solution here.
Another important point: farmers must be able to live on the money they earn! This requires a fundamental reform of the support structure of the current agricultural policy by abolishing direct payments, the amount of which is measured purely by the area of the farm. The payment of subsidies, on the other hand, should be linked to the provision of social services. After all, why should a 200-hectare farm receive 10 times more subsidies from the so-called "area premium" than a 20-hectare farm? In terms of income security, however, we as a society are also called upon: a stronger focus on the quality of the products we buy and the willingness to pay more for high-quality, healthy, nutritious food is essential for this change. The following should apply to food production: Quality must have priority over a mass and export orientation.
But enough about our ideas - we would like to hear from you: What are your wishes for tomorrow's agriculture and a future worth living in? How do you envisage the future shape of agricultural policy and agriculture? Are you perhaps in favour of promoting regionality and small farms or a stronger focus on nature conservation, environmental protection and the sustainability of products? Or are you of the opinion that the current design of agricultural policy fully covers the set objectives of the Common European Agricultural Policy (securing farmers' incomes, preserving biodiversity and promoting rural structures)? We look forward to your thoughts and opinions! We would be happy to publish them on our website as part of our project to promote a sustainable agricultural policy - anonymously if you prefer.