New period of EU’s common agricultural policy off to good start
News - Published 12.12.2023
The first year of the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP) 2023–2027 is coming to an end. In Finland the implementation has started very well, despite the numerous challenges in the environment where we operate today. The national policy outlines are specified in the CAP Strategic Plan, which will have significant impacts on agriculture and on the vitality of the rural areas.
During the current period of the common agricultural policy of the EU (2023–2027), the national policy focuses first and foremost on the idea of continuing and further strengthening active and sustainable food production. Especially in the early part of 2023 there were concerns related to food production and security of supply due to the turbulent markets and energy crisis.
“The prices of production inputs were historically high but, thanks to the decisions made by farmers, Finnish food production stayed stable and proved its crisis resilience. At the farm level the reform has also contributed to further progress in climate and environmental actions, which can be seen, for example, as more diverse use of arable lands and increased plant cover. At the same time the farms have made significant investments related to energy and other prerequisites for production in the future,” says Director General Minna-Mari Kaila.
In Finland the trend in the number of farms has been decreasing for a long time and, in the same way as in connection with the previous reforms, the number of farms fell more than on average in 2023. However, the total cultivated area has remained stable as the size of the farms keeps growing. In 2023 about 43,000 farms applied for area-related payments and their average area was almost 53 hectares. The area sown with winter cereals was large last year, which was quite important in terms of ensuring cereal production during the past growing season when the climate conditions both during the summer and in the autumn were quite challenging.
The number of livestock farms is falling more rapidly than the number of farms on average, but fast progress is made in terms of structural development and growth in the farm size. Despite the changes and market challenges, in Finland as a whole the production volumes of animal husbandry have remained quite stable, with some reactions that have mainly been caused by fluctuations in the costs and producer prices.
The implementation of Finland’s CAP Strategic Plan started by stages during 2023. The national legislation entered into force at the end of 2022 and during the first half of 2023, and the applications for support payments were opened step by step. The applications for area and animal related payments were open in the early part of 2023.
“The applications for support for investments and setting up of young farmers started in April 2023, and most of the applications for business and project support started during the summer. The implementation of business and project support for rural areas has started well and advisory services have also got off to a good start. Most of the advice provided was related to environmental and climate issues, food security and animal welfare, and to improving competitiveness,” says Senior Ministerial Adviser Taina Vesanto.
“Things and going very well. The implementation of the CAP Strategic Plan has started and all applications have been opened. In Finland the implementation has for the most part proceeded as planned. The CAP Strategic Plan will have major impacts on agriculture and the vitality of the rural areas,” says Senior Ministerial Adviser Arja-Leena Kirvesniemi.
The implementation of the first year of CAP 2023–2027 will be discussed at the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting in Brussels today.
Minna-Mari Kaila, Director General tel. +358 295 162 013
Taina Vesanto, Senior Ministerial Adviser, rural development
tel. +358 295 162 405
Arja-Leena Kirvesniemi, Senior Ministerial Adviser, agriculture
tel. +358 295 162 191
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry press release 11.12.2023