`Europe Approves Italy’s Plan for Implementing the Common Agricultural Policy - Olive Oil Times

Europe Approves Italy’s Plan for Implementing the Common Agricultural Policy

By Paolo DeAndreis
Dec. 12, 2022 14:18 UTC

Italian farm­ers and food pro­duc­ers will receive approx­i­mately €37 bil­lion in the next five years under the aus­pices of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 2023 – 2027 of the European Union.

The CAP informs cru­cial poli­cies of all mem­ber states, and Italy has just been given the green light for its national strate­gic plan, which will come into force on January 1.

“[The plan] will sup­port com­pet­i­tive­ness and sus­tain­abil­ity through­out the farm­ing and agri-food sec­tors,” said Francesco Lollobrigida, the Italian agri­cul­ture min­is­ter.

Slightly more than €26 bil­lion will come from the E.U. bud­get, with the remain­ing funds bud­geted by the Italian gov­ern­ment.

The new CAP includes mea­sures to lower the envi­ron­men­tal impact of agri­cul­ture and food pro­duc­tion, enhance food safety, farm­ing sus­tain­abil­ity and bio­di­ver­sity, sup­port small farms and food com­pa­nies and encour­age more young peo­ple to farm.

It also seeks to com­bat food waste, improve social con­di­tions in the food pro­duc­tion sec­tor and pro­tect ani­mal well­be­ing.

Following its guide­lines, the Italian plan focuses on sup­port­ing what is defined as the tran­si­tion to organic agri­cul­ture” while also improv­ing resilience and com­pet­i­tive­ness across the dif­fer­ent pro­duc­tion chains.

Approximately €2 bil­lion will be ded­i­cated to organic agri­cul­ture, a mea­sure con­sid­ered cru­cial to achiev­ing the E.U. goal of hav­ing 25 per­cent of all farm­land con­verted to organic prac­tices by 2027.

Food qual­ity is another pil­lar of the plan, with the Italian gov­ern­ment plan­ning to sup­port extra vir­gin olive oil and other tra­di­tional food prod­ucts with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Other funds will be ded­i­cated to so-called heroic agri­cul­ture,” which takes place in highly chal­leng­ing envi­ron­ments such as olive groves on steep slopes.

Olive oil pro­duc­ers in Puglia and Calabria, the coun­try’s two largest olive oil-pro­duc­ing regions, will also receive funds from the CAP.

An updated frame­work for risk man­age­ment will offer farms greater sta­bil­ity in times of sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges and cli­mate uncer­tain­ties.

According to the Italian farm­ing asso­ci­a­tion, Coldiretti, one of the most rel­e­vant updates of the new CAP is the agri­cul­tural com­pen­sa­tion sys­tem, which seeks to sta­bi­lize incomes while pro­mot­ing sus­tain­abil­ity. Almost €18 bil­lion are ded­i­cated to directly sup­port­ing farm incomes.

The plan also seeks to broaden the scope of rural agri­cul­tural activ­i­ties to sup­port income and pre­serve rural her­itage. The plan also pro­vides funds for sus­tain­able farm­ing and ranch­ing and makes it eas­ier for younger gen­er­a­tions to access set-up agribusi­nesses and buy land.

The younger gen­er­a­tions will also more eas­ily ben­e­fit from funds to encour­age using the lat­est tech­nolo­gies and fol­low­ing the most mod­ern agri­cul­tural best prac­tices.

According to data from the Institute of Services for the Agricultural and Food Market (Ismea), there are 11 farm­ers over the age of 65 for each farmer under the age of 40 in Italy.

Farmers who reduce their envi­ron­men­tal impact by going beyond the min­i­mum require­ments of the E.U. pol­icy will also be rewarded with an €876 mil­lion fund.

Seventeen per­cent of the funds will go to olive grow­ers safe­guard­ing olive trees declared national her­itage mon­u­ments and tra­di­tional land­scapes. Growers will be awarded €220 per hectare, pro­vided they take care of the olive trees on the land.

Farms on less than 14 hectares, which com­prise a large por­tion of Italian food pro­duc­tion, will be sup­ported through a €350 mil­lion-per-year fund. In Italy, 1.1 mil­lion farms are smaller than 11 hectares.

The plan also pro­vides €20 mil­lion to fund reser­voir con­struc­tion and ren­o­va­tion as well as other tac­tics to mit­i­gate the impacts of the ongo­ing drought.

The plan also pro­vides fund­ing to sup­port gen­der equal­ity in farm­ing and food pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies, pro­mote work­place safety and pro­vide eas­ier access to agri­cul­tural knowl­edge.

A series of mea­sures will also be enacted to pre­vent ille­gal and unsafe labor prac­tices and make it eas­ier for farm­ers to employ sea­sonal work­ers.

The most sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the CAP funds for Italy’s national strate­gic plan will be man­aged through gov­ern­men­tal direc­tives, which are cur­rently under devel­op­ment.

Since 1962, the CAP has been one of the sig­nif­i­cant com­mon pol­icy efforts car­ried out by the European Union. Approximately one-third of the E.U. bud­get is spent on the CAP.

In the next five years, the CAP will reach €387 bil­lion in total expen­di­ture. Forty per­cent of the money will fund E.U. strate­gies to tackle cli­mate change that also inter­sect with agri­cul­tural poli­cies.



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