RUSTICA and the EU Common Agricultural Policy

The EU Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) builds the overarching political and legal frameworks for agriculture and the rural sector in the EU Member States since the late 1950s. In 2023, a new CAP area began, and a set of legislative acts entered into force aimed inter alia to meet the 10 key objectives of the CAP and to pave the way to sustainable farming and rural development.

By virtue of its scope and scale, the RUSTICA project has the potential to meet these objectives. For example, the project addresses the following CAP Specific Objective:

Figure 1: RUSTICA proposition and CAP objective (Source: own depiction A. Wiedemann)

Highly innovative value chains targeting the production and application of fertilising products, such as those envisioned by research in RUSTICA encompass an array of measures to valorize residuals and side streams from the agri-food sector. Furthermore, the project, its multi-actor approach and test cases in five different regions of which four are located in the EU demonstrates circular bio-based concepts for nutrition of crops and improvement of soils.

In this respect, the National/Regional CAP Strategic Plans (CSPs)[1] covering RUSTICA test regions in the EU reveal a multitude of provisions that are of interest for the activities of the project. For example, in Spain, Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAECs) include sustainable nutrition of soils. The CSP of France explicitly relates to the bioeconomy if it comes to support of investments, while in Flanders “slow acting fertilisers” are defined in the context of protection of water. Obligations on the sustainable use of nutrients are included in the Italian CSP as well.

Adelheid Wiedemann
Wiedemann GmbH, Germany

[1] More details can be found in the RUSTICA document: Report on strategic plans to be drawn by EU Member States under the common agricultural policy (CAP Strategic Plans).

Disclaimer: The views presented in this document are solely an opinion of the author. The author and the RUSTICA consortium members do not accept any liability for direct or indirect consequences, losses or damages resulting from the use of this document, its content or parts of it. This document is exclusively prepared for general information purposes and represents in no kind a legal or any other advice.



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