Brussels – The EU must begin work on a common food policy, after the failure of the common agricultural policy (CAP) reform to deliver a farming system that works for farmers, nature and the climate, said Greenpeace, as the European Parliament adopted the EU’s farming policy in a vote on Tuesday. 

Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director Marco Contiero said: “This farming plan serves only the largest and most polluting businesses, leaving small farmers out in the cold and does nothing to address the terrible impact that industrial farming has on nature, the climate and people’s health. It’s time for the EU to take a holistic approach to food and farming, and bring forward a common food policy that ensures healthy and affordable food, fair prices for all farmers and protection for the environment we all rely on. If we leave the future of our food system in the hands of those who represent big agri business and landowners, we’re inviting disaster.”

The CAP deal, reached after negotiations between the EU Commission, Parliament and national governments, was supported by MEPs from the conservative, liberal and far-right political groups, as well as part of the socialists, led by the Spanish and Italian delegations. The green group, most of the left group and German socialist MEPs voted against the deal. EU governments are expected to ratify the CAP reform at the next Council meeting of energy ministers, scheduled for 2 December.

NGO’s criticised the CAP deal when the final details were known. Campaign groups warned that, in particular, the CAP would:

  • continue to allocate most of the subsidies based on farm size;
  • continue to subsidise destructive factory farming;
  • fail to support enough space for nature on farms;
  • lose its common approach by giving national governments too much leeway with few requirements, stimulating a race to the bottom.

In June, the European Court of Auditors, the EU’s financial watchdog, published a report revealing that there was no drop in greenhouse gas emissions from farming under the current CAP, despite the earmarking of €100 billion of its budget to fight climate change. The Court of Auditors had previously criticised the CAP reform proposal for maintaining the payment of most subsidies based on the area of land farmed as being unfit for a more environmentally friendly and performance-based policy.


Marco Contiero, Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director: +32 (0)477 77 70 34, [email protected]

Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911, [email protected]

This press comment is also available on:

For breaking news and comment on EU affairs:

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning network that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. We do not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties. Greenpeace has over three million supporters, and 26 independent national and regional organisations with offices in more than 55 countries.

EU Transparency Register: 9832909575-41