Breaking Up is Hard to Do |  Séan Rickard

Prospects for a reformed agricultural policy’ has just been published in the book Breaking Up is Hard to Do

International Journal of Agricultural Management | Séan Rickard

An international forum and source of reference for those working in agricultural management and related activities, including social, economic and environmental aspects of food production and rural development.

Food Security and Climate Change: The Role of Sustainable Intensification, the Importance of Scale and the CAP (pages 48–53) | Séan Rickard

Food security, the depletion of the world’s natural capital and climate change form a trilemma for EU agriculture. This article argues that while reducing food waste and meat consumption can make a contribution, only the widespread adoption of sustainable intensification (SI) – to achieve a step-change in natural resource productivity (NRP) growth – can deliver the necessary increase in output while reducing the industry’s demands on the environment and GHG emissions. Maximising the growth of NRP depends not only on advances in plant and animal breeding but also a general transition to precision farming.

Climate Change: Getting the Policy Right| Séan Rickard

After some two years of negotiations, agreement was finally reached at the end of September 2013 on yet another ‘reform’ of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP): an agreement that represents little change from current levels or orientation of support (OECD, 2013). This outcome does not augur well for the agricultural industry’s outlook. The reform process was itself proof of political disquiet as to the effectiveness of the CAP, and amongst academics there is overwhelming condemnation of direct farm payments and widespread doubt regarding the policy’s ability to achieve its diverse, multifunctional objectives, including protecting farm incomes, delivering food security, conserving the environment and developing the rural economy.

Climate Change: Liberating farming from the CAP | Séan Rickardthe Policy Right| Séan Rickard

This article explains that European agriculture; indeed, global agriculture is entering a new era, in which the demand for food is outstripping the world’s current ability to supply. The hallmark of this era is high and more volatile agricultural prices resulting in a marked reduction in the affordability of food for European households and greater difficulties for households in poorer nations leading to higher levels of malnutrition and hunger. Against this background it is imperative that agricultural policy in the EU takes on a new economic focus; one that will encourage the structural changes, management practices and levels of investment necessary to maximise agricultural productivity while simultaneously adopting scientific advances and production systems that are sustainable in their use of inputs and deliver high standards of animal welfare.