This evaluation seeks to determine the extent to which price support and direct payments applied in the beef and veal and dairy sectors since 1988 are in coherence with obligations for environmental protection under the CAP.
The study concludes that a combination of price support and direct payments has led to elevated numbers of cattle above the level which would otherwise have been the case in the beef, veal and dairy sectors. In the dairy sector this effect has been constrained as a result of the operation of national milk quotas.
In addition CAP measures have supported the retention of a proportion of the beef herd, which is extensively managed and which has contributed to landscape quality and biodiversity. This is despite limited success in targeting direct payments at farms pursuing more extensive grazing systems.
This report, which was undertaken for DG Agriculture can also be accessed through the European Commission’s website