Aims of the farm advisory system
All countries in the European Union have a farm advisory system (FAS). The FAS helps farmers to better understand and meet the EU rules for the environment, public and animal health, animal welfare and good agricultural and environmental condition (GAEC).
Information the system provides
The FAS provides information about:
- obligations at farm level resulting from the statutory management requirements and the standards for good agricultural and environmental land conditions ('cross-compliance');
- agricultural practices beneficial for the climate and the environment and maintenance of the agricultural area ('greening');
- measures provided for in rural development programmes for farm modernisation, competitiveness building, sectorial integration, innovation and market orientation, as well as the promotion of entrepreneurship;
- requirements for efficient and sustainable water use, along with water protection;
- use of plant protection products;
- integrated pest management.
The FAS may also provide information on:
- the promotion of farm conversion and diversification of their economic activity;
- risk management and appropriate preventive actions to address natural disasters, catastrophic events and animal and plant diseases;
- minimum requirements for agri-environment-climate payments beyond mandatory standards and minimum requirements for fertilisers and plant production products, also regarding organic farming;
- information related to climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity and protection of water.
EU countries ensure a clear separation between advice to farmers and checking the right allocation of income support.
New CAP: 2023-27
In June 2021, following extensive negotiations between the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission, agreement was reached on reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP). This agreement was formally adopted on 2 December 2021, and the new CAP will begin on 1 January 2023
Under the new CAP, changes will be made to the existing conditionality and greening systems that will reflect higher green ambitions and contribute to the targets of the European Green Deal. This includes the introduction of eco-schemes, which will provide stronger incentives for climate- and environment-friendly agricultural practices. Until 2023, current measures apply, in line with the provisions of the CAP transitional regulation.
Integrated administration and control system (IACS)
The implementation of the FAS is covered by:
- rules on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy (EU Regulation 1306/2013).
CAP and the environment
The common agricultural policy (CAP) upholds environmental rules and encourages green farming.