It supports all types of agriculture in the EU, including the rich diversity found in the family farming sector. While it is not possible here to detail the full range of support provided by the recently reformed CAP, it is worth highlighting some of the policy areas which are of particular relevance to family farming. These include recognition of the value of the environmental services that family farms typically provide, the efforts to boost farm competitiveness and economic diversity and the support for the continuity of the European family farming model in the future, through schemes to encourage generation renewal.

Innovation, climate and environment actions, and sustainable resource management are the cross-cutting priorities at the centre of rural development programmes throughout the EU. Funding for ‘greening’ activities (including organic farming and agri-environment-climate support), new entrants/young farmers, innovation, smallholdings and co-operation can be granted under the rural development programmes and combined with other public funding, like direct payments to active farmers.

Delivering environmental services

One defining characteristic of family farm management is its clear focus on providing a legacy for future generations and the so-called second pillar of the CAP (rural development policy) supports them in maintaining and developing sustainable land use.