Within the EU, the diversity of farm types is important, in terms of size from very large to typical family farms or semi-subsistence and subsistence micro-farms, of on-farm diversification or specialisation or off-farm sources of income. In addition, throughout Europe, there is a rapid structural decreasing trend of number of farms and active farmers. In this context, policy instruments, in particular the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) might result in very different impacts at farm level depending on the type of farms affected.
The JRC studies several aspects of the impact of policies on farms:
(i) the distribution of subsidies and income between farmers and other stakeholders (such as landowners),
(ii) the impact on farm structural change in the sense of the change in production systems and farm entry/exit into one sector/farm typology, and its drivers (e.g., demographics, off-farm employment, economic environment), on the base of extensive data (Eurostat's farm structure survey and DG agriculture and Rural development accountancy database FADN),
(iii) the impacts of various policy options on farm production costs.