Greening the Common Agricultural Policy

Written evidence submitted by Rothamsted Research (GCAP 06)

We understand there is a proposal to stop ploughing out of established grass over 5 years old. This could have severe implications for grassland management in the future. If implemented it could trigger farmers to plough up pastures next spring to 'get in under the wire'.

We also feel the Commission is still focusing on the environment when most of the rest of the world is concerned about food security. The Commission needs to give much more thought to balancing environmental concerns with food security, perhaps through Ecosystem Services (ES). There seems to be a very widely-held view that optimising ES is the best (perhaps the only?) way to deliver food security while protecting the environment and maintaining biodiversity, etc. This is summed up in the recent UK National Ecosystem Assessment, attached. In short Food security and the environment are intimately linked and it is unhelpful that some quarters treat them as separate issue. The solution to one will affect the other and likewise solutions can be developed that complement both agendas.

November 2011

Prepared 30th November 2011