Recommendations for aiding transitions to agro-ecological farming systems
Recommendations for policy and market incentives for transitions to agro-ecological farming systems and improving uptake of agro-ecological farm practices across the EU, are to:
- support knowledge exchange and networks through the establishment of formal knowledge networks and other rural actors with trusted and skilled advisors in agro-ecology issues as full-time managers of networks (e.g. German case study);
- train farmers and advisors, including the exploitation of peer-to-peer engagement involving farmers who have had stories of success with implementing agro-ecological farming practices (e.g. Italian case study);
- design fiscal arrangements to help equalise the cost to consumers of agro-ecological products with those of conventional farming systems (e.g. reduction in VAT on organic dairy products from 21% to 5%; a recommendation arising from the Latvian case study).
- ensure the eligibility of actor associations for policy support;
- employ result-based and cooperative agri-environmental measures and payments for ecosystem services;
- provide incentives for landowners;
- encourage public procurement programmes, trade standards and environmental and food regulations;
- introduce or encourage new or revised labelling, awareness campaigns for landowners, value chain actors and consumers;
- design nudges for promoting further changes towards healthy diets and reduced food waste.
Details of these policy recommendations for EU, and national, implementation are provided in Schwarz et al., 2021.