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Towards sustainable agriculture

The European Consultative Forum on the Environment and Sustainable Development, an informal consultation body set up under the Fifth Environmental Action Programme, has produced a report on its views on policies to be pursued in order to achieve more sustainable agriculture.

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The European Consultative Forum on the Environment and Sustainable Development, an informal consultation body set up under the Fifth Environmental Action Programme, has produced a report on its views on policies to be pursued in order to achieve more sustainable agriculture.

These can be summarised as follows:

- The creation of market conditions to enable farmers to promote sustainability while preserving their competitiveness in a global market;
- Promotion of local policy implementation and preservation of the diversity of nature and products to achieve high standards of environmental protection;
- Recognition and evaluation of environmental and social impacts that are not reflected in the price of goods and services;
- More integrated decision making within the Community institutions, and more sophisticated links within different environmental policy instruments;
- Promotion of knowledge-based approaches such as information, awareness, scientific understanding and knowledge transfer as an important tool for integration.

These recommendations are proposed to the Commission to be taken into account in the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and in the wider process of integrating sustainability into the agricultural life cycle and food chain.
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