What is Volts policy? / Agriculture and the Environment

Reform the Common Agricultural Policy

The agricultural sector in Europe is characterised by either high efficiency or sustainability. The future of agriculture must ensure food security for more people, tackle climate change, low biodiversity, high nitrate levels in groundwater and a predictable phosphorus shortage. Volt will implement more sustainable agriculture across Europe. Food security must be ensured in Europe and beyond, and this requires a comprehensive strategy for efficient and sustainable food production, distribution and ways for sustaianable living for farmers.

Volt wants to phase out subsidies for all agricultural practices that degrade soil, cause erosion or load water bodies with harmful chemicals. Subsidies must be directed toward any agricultural practices that improve topsoil, capture GHGs, protect water bodies, promote biodiversity, and stop or reverse erosion.

This means reforming the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Volt wants this to support farms which are strongly committed to sustainability and product quality instead of keeping the current unfair and unbalanced subsidy system in agricultural sectors across Europe. Agriculture subsidies that focus only on production and favour large producers must be discontinued and we want to ensure ongoing testing and evaluation of agricultural land to safeguard sustainable farming and reduce the use of mineral fertilisers. [1]

Let's reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions (like nitrogen oxides) by:

  • Promote the recovery of phosphorus from the sewage sludge [2]

  • Use individual plant-oriented fertiliser application techniques, catch crops, and green manure to minimise nitrogen input into the soil and leaching. [3]

  • Store liquid manure surpluses in the form of fertiliser pellets.

  • Support pesticide-free hydroponic production with closed water and nutrient cycles. [4]

  • Introduce peat alternatives for horticultural substrates, like coconut fibres and compost. The extraction of peat leads to the release of climate-damaging carbon dioxide. Additionally, the increased use of compost substrates closes the nutrient cycle.[5]

  • Halting biodiversity loss resulting from destruction of biotopes, over-fertilisation and intensive use of harmful pesticides [6]

Let's develop new technologies and support research programmes to:

  • Promote Sustainable Land Management practices, including precision agriculture and GPS technology [7] thus integrating hedges and flower strips into agricultural land without disrupting cultivation and increase biodiversity.

  • Incentivise the use of individual plant-oriented sensors to calculate fertiliser demand, which will lead to optimal growth conditions and minimise leaching.

  • Examine the chances and risks of innovative procedures like cisgene gene editing or artificial meat, and explore how these techniques can support sustainable agrarian reform.

  • Promote alternatives to the use of pesticides by integrating the knowledge of organic crop protection into conventional cultivation. A possible alternative for herbicides is the mechanical destruction of weeds by robots.

Let's help farmers live a decent life in a sustainable working environment by: [8]

  • Improving access to land for beginning farmers, prioritising selling and leasing to organic entrepreneurs with marketing concepts and to farms implying an inclusion of educational or social purposes;

  • Breaking land taxes for landowners who provide (peri-)urban lands for organic food production in order to create “green belts” around cities and develop an EU Directive on fair and sustainable access to farmland, a succession planning, and a transparent European land register [9]

  • Increase opportunities for local stakeholders and regional food networks to better process, transport, distribute or sell agricultural products to urban areas;

  • Improving farmers’ position in the value chain by supporting the proposed blacklist of unfair trading practices (UTPs); [10]

  • Developing the potential of urban farms to attain self-sufficiency via community empowerment;[11]

  • Enhance rural attractiveness for innovative and smart entrepreneurship, by providing fast and secure connections like broadband and other IT infrastructure. [12]


[1] Bai, Z. 2018, Effects of agricultural management practices on soil quality: A review of long-term experiments for Europe and China, available at http://www.isqaper-project.eu/

[2] Egle, L. 2016, Phosphorus recovery from municipal wastewater: An integrated comparative technological, economic assessment of P recovery technologies, available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969716314656

[3] Kirchmann, H. 2002, Possibilities for reducing nitrate leaching from agricultural land, available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12374048

[4] Sardare, M.D. 2013, A review of plant without soil - hydroponics, available at https://ijret.org/volumes/2013v02/i03/IJRET20130203013.pdf

[5] Schmilewski G.,The role of peat in assuring the quality of growing media, available at http://pixelrauschen.de/wbmp/media/map03/map_03_02.pdf

[6] Friends of the Earth Europe, A New Food and Agriculture Policy for the European Union, available at https://www.foeeurope.org/sites/default/files/cap_pp_full_final1.pdf

[7] Moravalli et al., Global achievements in sustainable land management, available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095633915300447

[8] In 2016, around 30% of French farmers had an income below €350/month, less than one third of the minimum wage. Le Monde, Farmers wages vary greatly across Europe, available at https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2017/10/30/30-des-agriculteurs-gagnent-moins-de-350-euros-par-mois-scandale-ou-pas_5207780_3232.html



[9] International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food), ‘Towards a Common Food Policy for the EU’, available at http://www.ipes-food.org/_img/upload/files/Towards-a-Common-Food-Policy-for-the-EU.pdf

[10] European Parliament, Fairer food supply chain: Agriculture MEPs clamp down on unfair trading, available at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20181001IPR14722/fairer-food-supply-chain-agriculture-meps-clamp-down-on-unfair-trading

[11] The Guardian, Incredible Edible Yorkshire towns food growing scheme takes root worldwide, available at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/09/incredible-edible-yorkshire-towns-food-growing-scheme-takes-root-worldwide

[12] Scottish Government, Superfast broadband rollout to benefit rural areas, Scotland, UK, available at https://news.gov.scot/news/superfast-broadband-rollout-to-benefit-rural-areas

Volt's 5+1 focus areas

We have big challenges, but we can solve them together when we work together!

These are Volt's 5+1 focus areas in ALL of Europe:

See Volt Denmark's policy
  • 01

    Smart State

    An innovative state takes care of its citizens and is at the same time ready with flexible solutions. We will therefore strengthen both our digital AND our human solutions.

  • 02

    Economic rebirth

    In order to meet the challenges of the future, we must rethink the economy in Europe. From the labor market to our monetary and financial policy.

  • 03

    Citizen involvement and democracy

    We want to strengthen the individual citizen's voice in everyday life. It is a failure of democracy if citizens are only listened to at election time.

  • 04

    Social Equality

    Volt wants an equal society where the individual potential can be unleashed, and here Volt wants to take the lead and take greater responsibility.

  • 05

    Global Balance

    The western world is responsible for a large emission of CO2 and therefore we must also be at the forefront of developing solutions.

  • +1

    EU reform

    We have a vision for Europe that guarantees equal access to education, healthcare and social protection and employment opportunities for all. A Europe where citizens have the same rights and can trust that everyone contributes and benefits equally from their commitment.