Government approves Finland’s CAP strategic plan – proposal submitted to European Commission
16.12.202114.35| Published in English on 12.17.2021 at 15.48
At its December 16 session, the government approved Finland’s CAP strategic plan proposal, prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The CAP Strategic Plan under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy specifies the agricultural support and rural development measures to be implemented in Finland in 2023-2027 and the conditions applicable to the measures included these schemes. Support. The main tasks of Finland’s CAP strategic plan are to ensure active food production, to promote climate and environment smart agriculture and to strengthen the sustainability of a countryside capable of renewal.
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppa, who led the process of preparing the CAP strategic plan, is very satisfied with the outcome.
“The process of preparing the national CAP plan has been long and I am very happy that the result we have achieved is a well-balanced package. The plan emphasizes active and globally sustainable food production and a waters. These four baskets constitute the building blocks of a globally sustainable agricultural policy for the years to come, ”said Minister Leppä.
Finland’s proposed CAP Strategic Plan includes direct payments under the Common Agricultural Policy, sectoral measures for agricultural product markets and rural development measures in mainland Finland and the Åland Islands.
In Finland, a large part of the funding from direct payments is used for actions targeted for specific purposes, including coupled support, support for young farmers and new eco-programs. Market-related measures will promote activities such as cooperation between primary production operators.
Rural development measures include environmental payments, promotion of organic production, animal welfare payments, natural handicap payments, investment financing, support for project activities, business financing and LEADER activities. Other measures also included in rural development are skills building, innovation and issues related to digitization.
In addition to measures to be taken across mainland Finland, Finland’s CAP strategic plan also contains rural development measures for Åland which fall under the jurisdiction of the Åland Islands. The plan has been prepared in good cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the authorities of the Åland Islands.
Finland’s proposal is due to be submitted to the European Commission for review and approval by the end of the year. The finalization of the CAP strategic plan will require negotiations with the Commission at the beginning of 2022, and it is also at this point that the content of the national provisions concerning the measures will be prepared. The implementation of Finland’s CAP strategic plan will start in 2023.
Focus on active food production and climate and environmental actions
Importantly, Finland’s CAP strategic plan responds to specific national needs and objectives in a manner consistent with the objectives set at EU level. In preparation for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the main tasks of Finland’s CAP Strategic Plan were summarized under three themes: ensuring active food production, promoting climate and climate smart agriculture environment and strengthen the viability of a campaign capable of renewing itself.
“Our main priority is to secure the preconditions for national food production so that we can continue to maintain and develop diversified production in all regions of Finland. At the same time, we will take great care of the environment and animal welfare. In food production, it is very important to take into account all dimensions of sustainability, including its economic aspects. The new CAP strategic plan offers excellent tools to support this, ”said Minister Leppä.
In order to promote both active production and sustainability, the opportunities offered by the allocation of funds and the conditions that guide operations will be used in various ways. The package of climate and environmental measures will be further refined and strengthened, and instruments such as new eco-schemes as well as environmental payments will provide an important new framework for practical measures at farm level.
Government decides to reduce emissions in agriculture
When approving the CAP Strategic Plan, the Government set a target for greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture: these should be reduced by 29% by 2035 compared to the situation in 2019.
According to the official national greenhouse gas inventory, greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture amounted to approximately 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019. This means that, of by 2035, these emissions are expected to be reduced to 11.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Emissions reductions will be implemented through measures included in the CAP strategic plan and other measures, including measures taken on market terms so as to also support efforts to improve the profitability of the CAP. food production. This emission reduction target is part of the carbon neutrality objective set in the Program of the government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin.
The process of preparing the CAP strategic plan included the environmental report under the Law on Environmental Impact Assessment of Plans and Programs of Public Authorities (200/2005).
Wide cooperation and consultations during the preparation process
Preparations for the CAP reform to be introduced in 2023 have already started in November 2017 on the basis of a Commission communication. At the national level, Finland’s CAP strategic plan has been prepared through broad cooperation among stakeholders: in recent years workshops and webinars have been organized, documents have been disseminated for comments and an online survey was carried out on Ota kantaa.fi.
Various parties have been well represented in the CAP working groups: farmers, rural planners, environmental organizations, animal welfare organizations, consumers, food industry, trade, administration and research.
The CAP strategic plan was circulated for comments from July 2 to September 10, 2021. The statements and comments were discussed in the preparation groups and taken into account to the extent possible in the preparation of the proposal.
Resolving the key stages of the decision-making process at EU level has been difficult for many reasons, which is why it was necessary to continue the measures implemented in 2014-2020 during the transition period 2021-2022 .
The updated CAP strategic plan will be available on the CAP website27 at the end of the year, when the plan has been submitted to the Commission.
Minna-Mari Kaila, Executive Director
AdministrationCAP27European and international affairsJari LeppaRural areas