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10 things to know about agriculture and the EU taxonomy

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1. Agriculture is one the largest contributors to biodiversity loss and its impact is increasing with the needs of growing populations. Animal products represent the biggest impacts on biodiversity together with land use for agriculture and climate change.

2. Agriculture had been left out of the mitigation and adaption annexes until the completion of the Common Agriculture Policy, but is now included and split into several activities in the latest draft annex

3. Under the new technical screening criteria, animal production and crop production can now make a substantial contribution to biodiversity

4. Criteria cover the raising (farming) and breeding of all animals, except aquatic animals

5. Animal production can contribute through improving biodiversity via grazing in habitats where grazing is beneficial, through promoting rare breeds, or by ensuring a sustainable farm-gate nitrogen balance.

6. Insect farming was considered but was excluded as the long-term sustainability is not clear

7. Criteria for crop production cover the growing of crops in open fields, but do not cover growing of crops in greenhouses or other indoor settings at this time.

8. Crop production can contribute if the farm area incorporates large areas that are biodiversity rich, if it ensures a sustainable farm gate nitrogen balance, or if it completely abstains from the use of synthetic plant protection products and copper that harm biodiversity and ecosystems.

9. Forestry logging and fishing are also included inthe new technical screening criteria.

10. Food and beverage manufacturers can also make a substantial contribution by selecting ingredients from farm suppliers that meet the technical screening criteria for agriculture.

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