CPA calls for light touch in implementing CAP greening

Nick von Westenholz - image:CPA
Nick von Westenholz - image:CPA

The Crop Protection Association (CPA) has urged the Government not to impose unnecessary restrictions on pesticide use as it implements Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) greening measures.

It has called for "a flexible and pragmatic approach" to pesticide regulation in order to support sustainable and productive farming, particularly in the proposed Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) and in other agri-environment schemes.

Chief executive Nick von Westenholz said: "Reports that the European Commission are fully committed to prohibiting pesticide use in EFAs are very troubling. This is typical of the sort of inflexible and overly prescriptive view of pesticide use that is hampering European farmers' as they strive to produce safe and affordable food."

The CPA was responding to Defra's consultation on implementing the CAP reform agreement in England, which concluded on 22 November.

Under proposals currently being finalised, EFAs must make up 5 per cent of any farm over 15 hectares, but they may take a variety of forms including buffer strips, fallow land, coppicing, or growing nitrogen-fixing crops or green cover. 

Meanwhile on the morartorium on the use of three neonicotinoid insecticides, which came into effect on the 01 December, he added: "The EU has yet to undertake an impact assessment on what the removal of these will mean, so we still don't know what the impact will be on farmers, on wildlife, or on consumers and the price of food on shop shelves."

He called on the EU to conduct such an impact assessment "as a matter of urgency".


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