Measuring changing farm structure in the EU

A particular type of farm structure is not an explicit policy objective of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). However, facilitating structural change is an objective of the CAP, set out in Article 39 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, as a way of ensuring a fair standard of living for the agricultural community and increasing the individual earnings of persons engaged in agriculture (the Treaty language speaks of “ensuring the rational development of agricultural production and the optimum utilisation of the factors of production, in particular labour”).

However, there is a widely-shared view that it is desirable to maintain the family farm model of European agriculture.… Read the rest

Is the removal of quotas responsible for the increase in EU milk production in 2015?

The plight of milk producers supplying the dairy cooperative Arla in Denmark and Sweden was the lead article in my Danish newspaper yesterday morning. Interviews with a number of farmers supplying Arla highlighted their loss-making situation at current milk prices. The journalist writing the story highlighted that a number of factors were responsible for the current low milk prices: the Russian import ban on EU dairy products, lower import demand in China but also increased production in the EU which he attributed to the removal of milk quotas in April of this year.
That EU milk production has increased is clear, as shown in the figure below.… Read the rest