COPA to smarten up its act

Casual explanations of the persistence of the CAP put it down to the strength of the ‘farm lobby’. At a national level, there is some truth in this and the positions of member states in the Farm Council often reflect pressure from their domestic farmers’ organisations. After all, upsetting them is likely to lead to a lot of trouble and very few plaudits.

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UK farm leader says organic shoppers have 'more money than sense'

In a classic example of how not to win friends and influence people, Peter Kendall, President of the UK National Famers’ Union, has described shoppers who buy organic food as having ‘more money than sense’. In the cover feature of last Saturday’s Financial Times weekend magazine, Kendall takes a swipe at the organic movement and in doing so break the cardinal law of sales: the customer is always right.

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UK farm leader says organic shoppers have ‘more money than sense’

In a classic example of how not to win friends and influence people, Peter Kendall, President of the UK National Famers’ Union, has described shoppers who buy organic food as having ‘more money than sense’. In the cover feature of last Saturday’s Financial Times weekend magazine, Kendall takes a swipe at the organic movement and in doing so break the cardinal law of sales: the customer is always right.

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Wine reform will lead to job losses

An impact assessment of the European Commission’s proposed reforms to the CAP wine regime warns that job losses are inevitable in parts of Europe most responsible for the distillation of wine. The report quotes Italian organisations, not an entirely disinterested source, that the sector could lose 75 per centr of its jobs in Italy.

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UK Parliament slams the CAP

A report by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee of the UK Parliament has called for the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy to be replaced by a new “Rural Policy for the EU”. While the committee of MPs, whose job is to shadow the work of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), described the objectives of the CAP as ‘an anachronism’, it reserved its strongest criticism for the UK government itself, which is described as naive and impatient.

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Sugar reform hits trouble

Last year’s sugar reform has hit trouble and it’s a familiar story: too much sugar is still being produced in the EU. 2007 production plans show that quotas have only fallen by 2.2 million tonnes over the first two years, well below the 5-6 million tonne target.

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Commission waters down wine reform

The Commission has backed away from radical plans to reform Europe’s perennially troubled wine sector in the face of opposition from member states. The proposals put forward last June offered EU winemakers €2.4 billion over five years as an incentive to dig up their vines and concentrate on producing quality wines.

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