Archive | June, 2009

Podcast: Roger Waite’s Brussels update

Roger Waite, editor of Agra Facts and journalism fellow of the German Marshall Fund (GMF) joins Jack Thurston (GMF Transatlatic Fellow) for a discussion of the current top issues in agriculture policy in Brussels: protests by European dairy farmers, the future of direct payments, what’s in store in the EU budget review and will Mariann [...]

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UK wheat can compete – so does it need subsidies?

Russia and Romania may be two of the cheapest places in the world to produce wheat, but the UK is only a little way behind. Releasing the result of its Global Cost of Production Challenge, Bidwells Agriculture head of research Carl Atkin, said that despite the higher unit price of inputs in the UK, cost [...]

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The debate on the post-2013 CAP

The debate on the future of the CAP after 2013 has now started following the informal Farm Council in the Czech Republic earlier this month. Those who want to influence the debate have about twelve months before the Commission publishes a Communication (effectively a White Paper) on future policy in the summer/early autumn of next [...]

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The 2006 EU sugar reform in review

Two interesting papers on EU sugar policy recently crossed my desk. One is an account of the ‘new’ sugar regime after the 2006 reform by three legal academics from the University of Barcelona, in which they also examine whether the reformed regime is likely to be compatible with any agreement from the Doha Round negotiations. [...]

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The (re-)distribution of CAP subsidies

Just days before the final ag Council meeting under the Czech EU presidency, member states’ positions on the Council Conclusions are still far apart. Things look a lot like last year when France attempted to show the way to long-term CAP reform, while some states resisted any move that could pre-empt the budget review/financial framework [...]

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Green groups score Fischer-Boel 4 out of 10

The Green-10 grouping of European environmental groups (including big-hitters like Birdlife, WWF and Greenpeace) has produced a dismal scorecard of the outgoing European Commission’s environmental record. The report describes Agriculture Commissioner Fischer Boel has having begun well but quickly reverted to a ‘disappointing business-as-usual approach’ to the common agricultural policy.

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What does France think?

France is Europe’s agricultural powerhouse and when it comes to the CAP, it is probably the single most influential member state. So what France thinks is of central importance to the future of EU farm policy. It is therefore good to see the publication of the latest of the national reform profile series at the [...]

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How decoupled is the Single Farm Payment?

Three of my Irish colleagues at the Teagasc Rural Economy Research Centre have conducted an interesting simulation to estimate the extent to which farmers treat the Single Farm Payment (SFP) as coupled or decoupled. Using the EU-wide partial equilibrium simulation model AGMEMOD, Peter Howley, Kevin Hanrahan and Trevor Donnellan project Irish production in the cattle [...]

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EU could do better on environmental farming

Millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money intended for environmental projects is instead being used to prop up damaging farmning practices across Europe, according to a report Could Do Better compiled for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds by Birdlife International. The report highlights some of the positive work being done in EU member [...]

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First results from Brno Informal Agricultural Council

The Czech Minister for Agriculture has issued a press release summarising the discussion at the informal agricultural council in Brno today. The subject was the future shape of a simplified system of direct payments and a more even distribution that would result in a fairer competitive environment on the single market. Even allowing for translation [...]

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