For example, low-input agricultural systems are often maintained by family farms in uplands and in other areas with natural constraints, which are threatened by declining profitability and continued rural depopulation. Payments under the second pillar of the CAP have contributed to halting land abandonment in such areas since 1975. Agri-environment payments co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development have also allowed family farms to continue to support climate change adaptation and mitigation. In addition, the combination of agri-environmental commitments with the development of rural tourism and other businesses (e.g. local food products) has often helped to maintain highly valuable environmental and cultural landscapes, while also generating economic benefits.

Innovation and competitiveness

Family farms involvement in innovative projects supported by the CAP is expected to be high, in line with their proven capacity to adapt their traditional businesses to prevailing external conditions, for example by focusing on high-quality food production and participating in short food supply chains.