Common Agricultural Policy

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a system of subsidies and support programmes for agriculture operated by the European Union. It was initially established to guarantee secure supplies of food for Europe's citizens but is now a multi-faceted policy whose primary objectives are market-oriented sustainable food production, supporting the incomes of farmers, preservation of the environment and rural development. It currently accounts for about 62% of the EU's budget.

After an in-depth process of consultation and negotiation that began in 2011, the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament and the European Commission reached agreement on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy under the Irish Presidency on 26 June 2013. While the CAP has undergone many reforms and changes, its principle objectives have largely remained unchanged over the years. These are to ensure a fair standard of living for farmers, to provide a stable and safe food supply at affordable prices for consumers and to assist in the balanced development of rural areas.

More details are available on our main website here

In Ireland the agri-food industry is our largest indigenous industry and accounts for 8.5% of employment, 12.7% of exports and 7.2% of Gross Value Added. The CAP supports the development of the sector through a combination of direct payments to farmers, financial assistance towards investments in rural development and environmental protection and market support measures.

More details are available on our main website here.

Publication of CAP Beneficiaries Data

In line with Council Regulation 1290/2005, the Department publishes, on its website, certain details on beneficiaries of schemes funded or co-funded by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) or the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). These schemes are crucial elements of EU and national policy aimed at sustaining and developing this vital national industry and reinforcing the critical role of the farming community as custodians of our rural environment.

Further information, documents and the publication of CAP Beneficiaries can be found on the Department’s main website here.