FEFAC welcomes in principle the EU Commission’s intention to take a pragmatic approach and apply more flexibility taking into account the diversity of EU agriculture. FEFAC members, however, share concerns about potentially unintended consequences which could give rise to market distortions and jeopardize the level playing field between Member States. In FEFAC’s view, the European Commission needs to strengthen its role as guardian of the Treaty, thus preventing a further widening of the scope for national derogations and exemptions which could undermine the CAP. FEFAC recalls its preliminary position on the CAP post 2020 which called for a rebalanced CAP strengthening the economic viability of the EU livestock sector.
FEFAC welcomes the overall orientation in the CAP Communication to favour more sustainable and environmentally-friendly farming methods in the future CAP, which will enable farmers to meet the commitments to the Sustainable Developments Goals and the COP21 climate change objectives. To this end, FEFAC calls for more publicly funded research, including animal nutrition science projects, to further reduce livestock-related GHG emissions while identifying effective mitigation strategies.
The European feed industry has heavily invested in a common methodology at EU and global level (PEFCR for feed & GFLI Feed LCA database project) to measure the environmental performance of feed production and is ready to provide assistance to livestock farmers to reduce their environmental footprint while improving animal performance and resource efficiency. In addition, FEFAC is also committed to support the European Commission in the development of the new European Protein Plan, expected by the end of 2018. FEFAC recommends to EU policymakers to take a fully comprehensive approach that covers the strategic need to maintain market access to highly concentrated protein sources which are essential to promote sustainable feeding strategies in Europe.