European Union Approves Large Farm Subsidies Deal

The European Parliament approved the biggest reform to their farm subsidies in decades. According to Reuters the vote switches much of the cash subsidies to smaller farms and rewards producers who use more sustainable farming methods. The Common Agricultural Policy has been criticized for years over the way the bulk of EU Ag subsidies went to large landowners and industrial ag firms. Backers of the deal say the reform will change that.

However, environmentalists say the deal doesn’t go far enough in taking care of the environment and fighting climate change.

The Chair of the European Parliament’s Ag Committee called it the biggest reform since 1992. The Common Ag Policy will spend 387 billion euros, or $436 billion, on payments for farmers and support for rural development. The new rules which start in 2023 shift funds away from intensive farming to more protection of nature and cut EU greenhouse gases by 10%.

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