Rules to simplify EU farming policy, boost farmers’ bargaining power against supermarkets, and better equip them to face risks were backed by the European Parliament on December 12.

The reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which is to take effect next year, was approved by 503 votes in favour to 87 against, with 13 abstentions.

“Today we significantly strengthened farmers’ position in the supply chain, gave farmers better tools against market and production risks and boosted support for the young ones,” said rapporteur Albert Dess (EPP, DE). “This will make our farming policy fairer, simpler, better tailored towards farmers’ needs, and better equipped to deliver food security for EU citizens. New rules will be in place in time to allow our farmers to benefit from these positive changes as quickly as possible.”

According to the head of the parliament’s negotiating team, Paolo De Castro (S&D, IT), the package approved represents an important result for our farmers. “On the one hand, we have solved some of the most pressing problems in current legislation,” he said. “On the other hand, we offer farmers new opportunities, especially to cope with increasing market volatility. This mid-term review of the CAP also proves that the role of Parliament in the EU law-making process is essential to achieve positive results for both EU farmers and citizens.”

Before entering into force on January 1, the new farming rules need to be endorsed by the EU Council.