How does the EU define a ‘genuine farmer’ under the new CAP?

The parameters by which EU member states are to define a “genuine farmer” for payments under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have been outlined by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

In a statement to AgriLand, a spokesperson for the department explained:

“The new legislative proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy [CAP] 2021–2027 define who can receive CAP payments.

“The proposal includes a requirement to define ‘genuine farmer’.

Member states should define this to ensure that ‘no support is granted to those whose agricultural activity forms only an insignificant part of their overall economic activities or whose principal business activity is not agricultural’.

The commission has stated that part-time pluriactive farmers should not be excluded from supports, the department spokesperson stressed.

“This was among the most difficult discussions during the last reform in 2013, and member states have differing perspectives on the definition,” it was added.

“The definition of the genuine farmer, as set out in the commission proposals, which would have to be outlined in Ireland’s CAP strategic plan, would be challenging to implement in practical terms. This definition has been discussed at length in Brussels.

Member states wish to have a definition that is effective but one that can be operated simply and are seeking flexibility on this.

“This issue of this definition is still under consideration in Brussels. CAP negotiations are still ongoing,” the department representative concluded.