New EU Requirements

From 2015, 30% of aid to European farmers will be bound to respecting what the EU considers sustainable farming practices. The new regulation has come as part of the reform of the European Common Agriculture Policy, or CAP. Enterprises dedicated to organic farming will be exempt from the requirements in that they are considered “green by definition”, and some obligations will be applied in a flexible manner depending on the area in question. For example, the obligation to dedicate at least 5% of farmable land to ecological practices will not apply to permanent crops, like fruit trees, or submerged ones, such as rice. Such aid for environmentally friendly practices are complementary to the measures co-financed by the European Union as a part of its rural development plan. The CAP reform also calls for member states commit no less than 30% of their rural development funds to projects that are good for the environment.