Does farm size matter?

On October 20th next I will take part in a workshop organised by DG AGRI at the Milan EXPO on the subject “Structural realities in EU agriculture: Does farm size matter?” The aim of the workshop is to discuss the challenges and opportunities brought about by the structural change of the EU agricultural sector for a) the up- and downstream industries, b) EU rural areas and c) the sustainability of agricultural production in Europe.
The debate on farm size
There is a long history in Europe of interest in the structure of agricultural holdings. Many European countries have had land legislation in place with the objective of maximising the number of farm holdings or limiting the maximum farm size.… Read the rest

Europe’s hens to have a happier New Year

From tomorrow, 1st January 2012, life for the EU’s laying hens becomes a little better when EU Council Directive 1999/74/EC on the Welfare of Laying Hens comes into force. Under the Directive the use of conventional cages (commonly referred to as ‘battery cages’) for laying hens will be prohibited in the EU as will the marketing of eggs from hens housed in such cages.

The ban on battery cages follows the EU-wide ban on veal crates for calves which came into force in 2007, and will be followed next year by a ban on sow stalls and tethers which comes into force across the EU on 1 January 2013.… Read the rest