• The Common Agricultural Policy that we are about to reform will have a key role in making Europe’s foods systems fit for future by encouraging sustainable farming practices in both pillars and supporting farmers to explore the new opportunities.
  • That is why we work very hard to have the new CAP in place very soon.
  • Trilogue negotiations with the co-legislators are ongoing and on behalf of the Commission, I am engaging constructively to facilitate a swift agreement on a sustainable and robust outcome.
  • The Commission is committed to reaching an overall political compromise later this month, to ensure a timely preparation and implementation of the new CAP. We are at a very decisive moment and reaching a compromise is vital.
  • Together with the representatives of the Council and the European Parliament we share this sense of urgency and we are aware of the responsibility to bring this complicated file to a close.
  • Making the European Food System more sustainable and resilient is the key objective of the ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy, part of the European Green Deal.
  • The strategy aims to bring together all actors to accelerate the process towards more sustainable food systems.
  • The strategy includes initiatives to provide better consumer information and to encourage industry to increase the availability and affordability of nutritious, sustainable food.
  • With these initiatives, we aim to significantly reduce the use and risks of chemical plant protection products, as well as the use of antibiotics and the loss of nutrients, while increasing the area under organic farming and the access to fast broadband in rural areas.
  • Citizens’ expectations are evolving and – already today - driving significant change.
  • We see this also in Germany, with a growing demand for sustainable products (organic, quality, locally produced). This is an opportunity for farmers: to sell products with higher value-added and a reinforced connection with consumers.
  • Let me mention the EU Organic Action Plan that we recently published and that foresees actions to stimulate demand and ensure consumer trust, stimulate conversion and reinforce the entire value chain.
  • Another opportunity lies in integrating value chains by linking local and regional primary production to value added processing and retail. This should also help rural areas to maintain its farming population.
  • Concluding the negotiations on the CAP reform is only the start. Once the reform is agreed, we will need to focus our attention to the future strategic plans. The Strategic Plans are at the heart of the new CAP.
  • The plans of the Member States need to be ambitious in order to achieve the nine specific objectives of the new CAP and in particular also those related to the Green Deal.
  • The Commission has assessed the situation in each Member State and issue recommendation regarding the CAP Strategic Plans.
  • Recommendations differentiate between Member States with regard to the efforts that need to be made to achieve the Green Deal ambition.
  • The Green Deal objective targets, on pesticides, antibiotics, landscape features, organic, nutrient losses, animal welfare and rural broadband represent the ambition we need to have if we take our natural environment seriously. They also represent what our citizens expect from us.
  • The ambition Member States include in their plan in terms of the value of national targets as well as the selection and design of interventions must be justified based on the assessment of needs of the Member States.
  • This means that in Germany, CAP budget and interventions must be targeted to address the challenges you are facing. It means that the new CAP is not a continuation of the current one. It means a shift in focus, to address the challenges of sustainability.
  • Member States should provide convincing explanations when setting the CAP Strategic Plans targets of how contribution to the Green Deal will be achieved.
  • The Commission will scrutinise these values against all available evidence, with a view to ensuring that the level of ambition is comparable across all 27 plans.

In conclusion the Farm to Fork Strategy and the CAP reform provide a comprehensive answer to the environmental, climate, animal welfare, social and economic challenges of our time in European agriculture.