We need a British Ecosystem Services Policy not a British Agricultural Policy

We are delighted to bring you this guest post by Professor Ian Hodge of the Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge on the topic of UK policy towards agricultural land after Brexit. The views expressed are his own and should not be attributed to any organisation with which he is associated.

Brexit requires the United Kingdom to develop its own policy towards agriculture and rural land to replace the Common Agricultural Policy. This must recognise the multiple benefits and costs associated with rural land use and promote the integrated management of rural land in the long term public interest through a British Ecosystem Services Policy (BESP).… Read the rest

The CAP and biodiversity

Two weeks ago I gave a talk at a biodiversity conference organised by Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority. The proceedings of this conference can be downloaded here. The title for my talk was ‘Could European agricultural policy do more to promote biodiversity?‘ In today’s edition of the Irish Farming Independent I have a short article which summarizes the talk. I reproduce the article below and also the presentation accompanying the talk.
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The 2013 CAP reform had three overall objectives: viable food production; sustainable management of natural resources and climate action; and balanced territorial development.… Read the rest

The cost of flat-rate agri-environmental measures

The Commission’s proposals to require shallow, one-size-fits-all, green measures across the EU as a whole in return for a green payment in Pillar 1 have been widely criticised as overly prescriptive, yielding limited environmental benefits (‘greenwash’), administratively complicated for member states and unnecessarily costly in terms of the trade-off with food production.

I reviewed these criticisms in a recent note for the European Parliament’s COMAGRI (link to appear when the note is published shortly). In the note I favoured a continuation of the past CAP reform trajectory in which a larger share of the CAP budget would be shifted to Pillar 2 in order to allow more ambitious and targeted agri-environmental measures (AEM).… Read the rest