The use of synthetic pesticides contaminates our air, water and wider environment, which harms human health and continues to drive biodiversity decline in agricultural areas. Therefore, Member States urgently need to reduce the use and risk of pesticides and deliver the reduction targets of the Farm to Fork Strategy: a 50% reduction in the use and risk of chemical pesticides and in the use of more hazardous pesticides by 2030.
Draft CAP strategic plans fail to sufficiently pursue pesticide use reductions on European farms. The conditionality requirements relevant to pesticide use are implemented too weakly by the Member States and serious reduction targets and timetables are missing in the plans. This makes it highly unlikely that the current CAP plans will deliver any reduction of pesticides and achieve the targets of the
Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies, expected to be made legally-binding in the Sustainable use of Plant Protection Products Regulation. Both eco-schemes and pillar 2 measures need to be strengthened to ensure a shift to agro-ecological practices that would enable good implementation of integrated pest management, as required by EU law, and truly lower the pesticide use.
CAP subsidies should be targeted towards supporting farmers financially and technically in their transition to low-input farming systems and this spending should be result driven. Farmers should be offered a package of measures that promote the uptake of non-chemical alternatives to pesticides (agronomic, mechanical, physical, biological) through the CAP strategic plans to ensure a sustainable and resilient agriculture.