It’s customary that on the eve of a reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, Chris Haskins (Baron Haskins of Skidby, an appointed member of the House of Lords) sets out his case for radical change.
In the 2011 edition, Haskins argues for a cut in the CAP budget and a redistribution from farmers in western Europe to farmers in the east. With an outlook of increasing commodity prices, the CAP should focus less on subsidising farmers and more on providing help declining rural areas, particularly in eastern Europe, following the model of EU structural and cohesion policy.
A former Chairman of Northern Foods, one of the UK’s biggest processed food companies, Haskins joins the growing chorus of those rejecting the notion that preserving the CAP is necessary for European food security:
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“The main economic justification for an EU common agricultural policy is that, consistent with the rules of the single market, it offers all EU citizens secure and adequate supplies of affordable food.