June 3, 2024

The EU Commission launches the Agri Sustainability Compass on sustainability in agriculture

The European Commission has launched an interactive tool that offers clear and understandable information on sustainability in agriculture: the Agri Sustainability Compass. This website brings together 20 key indicators for the three dimensions of sustainability in agriculture and rural areas to help understand the current state of agricultural sustainability and its evolution over time.

The Agricultural Sustainability Compass first presents key indicators to assess the economic performance of EU agriculture. An indicator such as “Trade Balance” evaluates competitiveness, while “Agricultural Productivity” measures efficiency. "Comparison of income with average wages", "Net added value per worker" and "Average farm size" reflect the evolution of income, labour productivity and structural changes in the agricultural sector.

Secondly, the tool highlights nine key indicators focused on environmental sustainability that analyze the interaction of agriculture with the environment and its impact on biodiversity, soil health, water quality and air pollution. Indicators such as "bird index", agricultural "crop diversity" and "nitrates in groundwater" evaluate biodiversity, agricultural practices and water pollution. Pesticides, organic farming, ammonia emissions and greenhouse gas emissions indicators track environmental and climate impacts and sustainability efforts linked to EU agricultural practices.

Social sustainability indicators, such as “Participation of farm managers by age” and “Participation of farms managed by women”, reflect concern about generational change and gender equality. In addition, indicators such as “Training of agricultural managers” and “Poverty rate in rural areas” provide information on access to education and the risk of poverty in rural communities. Additionally, this section includes indicators that answer societal questions such as “Antibiotic use for animals,” which is relevant to the risk of antibiotic resistance.

These key metrics enable interested users to understand complex aspects of agricultural sustainability and get an overview of the ongoing trends in simple terms. The user-friendly layout helps quickly debunk some common misconceptions about agriculture and shows that agriculture is not starting from zero on its journey to sustainability.

Discover the tool