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Best Environmental Management Practice

The reference document for the Agriculture - Crop and Animal Production sector

Agriculture - Crop and Animal Production

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has been developing a sectoral reference document on best environmental management practice in the agriculture - crop and animal production sector. The document describes best environmental management practices that farmers can implement to minimise the environmental impact of agriculture.

Best environmental management practices identified cover ten key areas of the agriculture sector:

  • Sustainable farm and land management
  • Soil quality management
  • Nutrient management
  • Soil preparation and crop planning
  • Grass and grazing management
  • Animal husbandry
  • Manure management
  • Irrigation
  • Crop protection products
  • Protected horticulture

BEMPs include pertinent measures and control points to drive maximum environmental improvement at the European level, considering geographic and product related hotspots across key environmental pressures including: greenhouse gas emissions, acidification, eutrophication, resource depletion, soil degradation, water stress, biodiversity loss and eco-toxicity.

Information was synthesised from existing best practice documentation, online agricultural calculation tools, inputs from a Technical Working Group, expert consultation, farm visits, and life cycle assessment modelling.

 

Poster/Infographics

'Go Green with Best Environmental Management Practices!' - an example from the agricultural sector
Download the poster/infographics file [2 MB] produced on this work.

 

 

Work plan

  • Development of Background Document: December 2012 – April 2014
  • Contact with stakeholders and setting up the Technical Working Group (TWG): July-September 2013
  • Kick-off meeting of the Technical Working Group (TWG): Brussels, 14-15 October 2013
  • Development of the first draft of the best practice report, October 2013 – June 2014
  • Final Meeting of the TWG: Brussels, 23-24 June 2014
  • Final draft of the best practice report: June 2015.

 

Current status

Based on a study carried out by Bangor University (UK) and the inputs, feedback and validation received from a Technical Working Group comprising experts from the sector, the JRC has produced the best practice report for the agriculture sector - crop and animal production.

The related EMAS sectoral reference document on best environmental management practice for the agriculture – crop and animal production sector is currently in preparation and it will follow the legislative process for its adoption by the European Commission.

 

Project Team and Contacts

The following people are part of the JRC-IPTS EMAS team:

  • Paolo Canfora
  • Marco Dri
  • Ioannis Antonopoulos
  • Pierre Gaudillat

If you have any question on the work carried out in this area or if you would like to contribute to the identification of best environmental management practices, please feel free to contact us. The best way to do so is sending an e-mail to JRC-IPTS-EMAS@ec.europa.eu.

 

Documents

2015
  • Event presenting this work at EXPO Milano 2015: Best practices in improving the sustainability of agriculture - Milan, 6 July 2015

  • Infographics on Best Environmental Management Practices for Agriculture

  • Final Draft - JRC report on Best Environmental Management Practice in the Agriculture sector - Crop and Animal Production

     

    2014
  • Minutes of the Final Meeting of the Technical Working Group - Brussels, 23-24 June 2014

     

    2013
  • Minutes of the Kick-off Meeting of the Technical Working Group - Brussels, 14-15 October 2013

     

  • The mission of the JRC is to provide customer-driven scientific and technical support for the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of EU policies. As a service of the European Commission, the JRC functions as a reference centre of science and technology for the Union. Close to the policy-making process, it serves the common interest of the Member States, while being independent of special interests, whether private or national.