Removal of vineyard planting rights will require another French Revolution

In 2008, as part of the CAP Health Check, the Agricultural Council agreed to eliminate restrictions on the planting of new vines, albeit cautiously and over a period up to 2015, with the possibility for individual member states to extend this to 2018. Planting limitations have been a part of the CAP since the early 1960s, and there has been a total ban on new plantings of table wines since 1976 which was expanded to include quality wines in 1984.

The 2008 decision was taken to make European wine producers more competitive, to stem the loss of market share both inside and outside the EU, and was in line with the decisions to also remove supply controls in the dairy and sugar sectors.… Read the rest

More supply management demanded in COMAGRI single CMO report

The French EPP member Michel Dantin is the COMAGRI rapporteur for the Commission’s draft revisions of the single CMO regulation. His draft report is detailed and comprehensive – he alone has tabled 434 amendments to the Commission’s draft regulation. Many of these amendments implement the two guiding principles which animate his report, namely, distrust in the ability of markets to always work satisfactorily where agriculture is concerned, and the desire to emphasise the legislative role of the Parliament vis a vis both the Council and the Commission.
Mr Dantin is a believer in the theory of ‘agricultural exceptionalism’ and that farmers require state assistance to operate in dangerous markets.… Read the rest

Agricultural Council discusses the single CMO

Danish Agricultural Minister Mette Gjerskov presided over her first Agricultural Council of the Danish Presidency with some dash and vigour last Monday 23 January. Her energy contrasted with the comments of some of her fellow Ministers in their first formal debate on the Commission’s single CMO legislative proposal, with a number of ministers seeking to roll back some previous reforms.

The Presidency structured the debate around two themes: the effectiveness of exceptional measures in case of market disturbances and crisis; and the proposed measures aiming at a more competitive and well-functioning food supply chain. The debate, which lasted just over two hours, can be followed here on video.… Read the rest

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.… Read the rest

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.… Read the rest