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 16 feb 2024 10:39 

Green Claims: double verification efforts could lead to double penalty at farm-level

With the text adopted, by a high majority, by the joint Committees vote on the Green Claims Directive proposal, farmers who want to communicate on their environmental practices will be required to go through a double verification process, making them think twice before applying any of these practices.

The proposal for a Directive aims to clarify and strengthen the substantiation of any explicit environmental claims referred to products and traders placed in the Single Market. MEPs sitting in the Committee on Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety (ENVI), together with the colleagues from the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted in favour of all the Compromise amendments worked by the co-rapporteurs Cyrus Engerer (S&D, MT), and Andrus Ansip (Renew, EE). The report received 85 votes in favour, 2 against, and 14 abstentions.
If the approved compromises clarify some aspects related to the implementation and verification, they certainly hide the risk for farmers for a double verification on voluntary environmental practices: farmers who already comply with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) additional, voluntary environmental practices (‘eco-schemes’ or ‘agro-ecological measures’) for which a verification process already exists, will be required to repeat the verification if they decide to communicate on them. The opinion of the AGRI Committee included such an exception, suggesting considering eco-schemes as eligible claims. Amidst the Commission's announcement of urgent simplification measures for agriculture, the approach adopted today appears to be in full contradiction with the trend set.

Moreover, Copa and Cogeca welcome the position to allow the use of offsetting. However, we regret the fact that higher limitations will prevent farmers from fully enjoying the framework established under the certification for carbon removals.
Copa and Cogeca hope to see the suggestions made by the AGRI Committee taken up by the Plenary vote, which is expected to be in March.


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