European farm leaders have agreed that The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) must encourage farming to become 'greener' in order to guarantee sustainable food supplies.
At an EU farm council meeting in Brussels on Monday, agriculture ministers and officials said a "greening" element of the CAP was vital to ensure natural resources were properly managed. However they were unable to agree on how a mandatory environmental element should be introduced to direct support payments (Pillar 1).
German farm minister Ilse Aigner said farmers needed to be incentivised to protect the environment, while France's agriculture minister Bruno Le Maire said any greening of the CAP needed to work alongside current cross-compliance rules.
While France supported CAP greening, it must not add to the administrative burden on farmers, he added.
Junior DEFRA minister Jim Paice said the UK would support stronger rural development funding (Pillar 2) to encourage farmers to become greener.