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Farming has a big influence on Europe's landscapes and the quality of its environment. With farmers managing almost half of the EU's land area, the agricultural sector is a major source of pressure on Europe's environment. Over the past five decades, the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) - accounting for around half of the EU budget — has encouraged the sector to become rapidly modernised and agricultural production itself to increase intensification. More

Key facts and messages
European agriculture — 40% of the land — serves societal demands for food production, pollination and energy. Long-observed environmental impacts are mixed: decreasing GHG emissions, less pesticide use but exceedance of nutrients, diffuse... more
There are fewer farmers and less arable land but demand for food is growing. Europe faces a continuous challenge to reconcile low environmental impact, food security and the viability of rural societies. more
Reducing agriculture's environmental impacts requires a transition towards innovative, low-input systems. Organic production plays a role in increasing the efficiency of nutrient management and reducing pesticide use. more
While there has been rapid development in recent years, in 2012 the total area under organic farming was still only 5.7% of total utilised agricultural area, with more than a 60-fold difference in the share of organic farming amongst countries. more
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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