A2 Geography: Sustainable management of resources

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Managing supply & demand: Common Agricultural Poli

CAP - A set of rules and regulatins governing agricultural activites in Europe

What are they trying to address?: To provide food security to Europe by harmonising policies between diffrent European states and providing a common market for farmers to sell their produce and giving subsidies where needed, to support their way of life.

  • What have they done: Provided stability from fluctuating food markets by ensuring that Europeans have a stable food supply at reasonable prices
  • Supporting and promiting the use of sustainable and environmentally friendly techniques such as less pesticides
  • Promoting food quality and diversity by officialy protecting 750 dishes and 2000 wines & spirits (Rather than US-Style manufacured goods)
  • Protecting a lifetsyle (the farming lifestyle) which is losing roughly 2% farmers every year
  • Supporting foreign markets by providing food surplus to developing countries as a cheap source of food and, despite CAP, importing 65 billion (euros) of food from developing countries. More than US, Japan, Canada, Australia and new Zealand combined
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Managing supply & demand: Common Agricultural Poli

However, despite the advantages:

  • The CAP is hugely wastful, as over production leads to Europe 'dumbping' food on LEDC markets, underminind thier fragile food market
  • 80% of CAP funding goes to 25% of the farms - meaning the largest proportions goes to the huge environment destorying mega farms rather than small-scale european farmers (Nestle recieved hundreds of millions from CAP! Do they need it?)
  • CAP incentives encourage farmers to use chemicals & pesticides to increase output
  • Subsidizing the farmers means penalising the consumer. Again, meaning big companies benefit most.


  • The 2003 CAP reforms aimed to break the link between subsidies and level of production (decoupling) by,rather, giving payment in regards to the area of land farmed, rather than quantity produced. This is hoped to encourage farmers to produce food according to what the market demands, rather than just mass producing one food type.
  • Additionally, it is hoped that it will limit the environmental harm as famers will be less inclined to mass-produce
  • Payments are now only to be made when farms have met certain condtions in regards to environment, food safety and animal welfare
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Managing supply & demand: Common Fisheries Policy

CFP - Setting regulations for access to fishing grounds, markets and structures.

What are they trying to address: Set up in 1983, the CPF aims to provide a common market for fish, whilst also supporting sustainability by protecting fish supplies and the fishermen.

  • What have they done?: Prevents rivalry & competition by ensuring everyone is working for one goal
  • Supporting sustainability by appling a 'Total Allowable Catch' policy (TAC), they have ensured that overfishing is a thing of the past by appling quotas to fishing fleets so that they do not overfish a certain species or area. As scientists estimate that 29/33 commercial fish are 'overfished', making CAP's work vital.
  • Protecting around 335,000 fishermans livelyhoods by ensuring fair prices and providing them will access to a 4.3 billion (euro) fund for reforms and modernisation purposes
  • Trading with developing nations by enabling agreements so that EU vessels can fish the surplus catches that the LEDC nations dont need, making it advantageous for both sides - Providing work for 40,000 EU citizens & 3,000 boats
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Managing supply & demand: Common Fisheries Policy

However, Despite the advantages...

  • Animals are accidently caught by nets - roughly 7,000 Harbour Porpoises are killed annually
  • Once quota reached, fish have to be discarded - This equates to roughly 800,000 tonnes each year
  • Seabirds such as the Puffin, have declined in poulation due to less food and so decreased breading

Reforms: A notable reform came as a result of the pressure group as a result of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's "Fish Fight" campaign. Which objeted against the repeated desposal of perfectly good quality fish. In 2015, there voices were heard. An the European implemented a pilot study on selected fishing fleets in which none of which were allowed to dump any produce, all had to be landed. This led to a great benefit for the selected fisherman as it led to greater profits and also greater sustainability as fish wernt being ruotinely dumped.

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