What we do

Using resources sustainably

Food production is not possible without natural resources, such as water or soil. European farmers and agri-cooperatives are the custodians of our countryside and are already doing their share to use natural resources sustainably. Soil in particular plays a crucial role given that it is a non-renewable resource that is fundamental for the production of feed and food. With this in mind, farmers will continue to use their resources in a sustainable way in the future. This will enable them to further reduce the impact of agriculture on the environment, building on the significant progress made in this respect in recent years.

Progressing towards climate and environmental targets

European agriculture has made real progress on the climate and environment front, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% and nitrate levels in rivers by 17.7% since 1990. Additionally, around 40% of the land in the Natura 2000 network is, or was once, managed farmland. These areas depend on farmers to continuously manage them. Grazing livestock play an important role in this process too.

What we believe

Committed to our objectives

European farmers and agri-cooperatives will continue to play a positive role in the maintenance of the countryside and the environment. They are committed to finding a balance between environmental, economic and social objectives. However, achieving one objective should not be pursued at the expense or exclusion of the others. In order to tackle the negative effects of climate change, we need to enhance the energy and environmental potential of the livestock and forestry sectors.

Responding to demands

Agriculture needs to be economically viable, produce enough high-quality food to meet the needs of an increasing global population, and respond to various demands for ecosystem services.

What we call for

Flexibility in legislation

We call on the European institutions to campaign for and work on environmental legislation that recognises farmers’ efforts and gives them enough flexibility to use resources efficiently, while ensuring food security. Farmers and forest owners need to be able to actively manage their land and engage in more environmentally friendly practices without having to comply with complex legislation or face excessive administrative burdens. This is especially important today, when farmers and foresters are the most directly affected by the negative impact of climate change, and when the area of land used for agricultural purposes in the EU is continuing to fall as a result of increasing urbanisation in Europe.
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