McDonald's, Lidl and big biotech at the Copa-Cogeca annual congress

Time is running out to book your place at the annual Congress of European Farmers, organised by COPA-COGECA, the umbrella organization that attempts to represent European farm unions in Brussels. The two-day meet-up, entitled “Visions for the future of agricultural policy in Europe” takes place on 30 September and 1 October. Having perused the programme, Berlaymole is barely able to contain his excitement. … Read the rest

Barroso’s poll results – 87% say ditch biofuels target

Several bloggers have noted the amazing disappearing biofuels poll (an online poll about EU biofuels policy that suddenly vanished from the website of the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso without any explanation). Following repeated enquries to the Commission President’s press office that were completely ignored, a more formal approach under the EU access to documents law has yielded a very comprehensive reply from Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, the Commission President’s Deputy Spokeswoman. I can now reveal the results.… Read the rest

Barroso's poll results – 87% say ditch biofuels target

Several bloggers have noted the amazing disappearing biofuels poll (an online poll about EU biofuels policy that suddenly vanished from the website of the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso without any explanation). Following repeated enquries to the Commission President’s press office that were completely ignored, a more formal approach under the EU access to documents law has yielded a very comprehensive reply from Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, the Commission President’s Deputy Spokeswoman. I can now reveal the results.… Read the rest

European Parliament weighs in on health check

On Monday 14 July the European Parliament agriculture committee will discuss its response to the Commission’s legislative proposals for the CAP health check. The committee’s rapporteur is Luis Capoulos Santos, a Portuguese socialist MEP and former Portuguese Minister for Agriculture. His working document, suggests a number of changes to the Commission proposals, notably a hard ceiling of 500,000 euros on CAP payments to individuals, in addition to a ‘progressive modulation’ that would see payments above 100,000 euros top-sliced to provide additional funding for the EU’s farmland conservation and rural policies.… Read the rest

French press for EU summit on CAP

French farm leaders have asked President Sarkozy to organise a Special Summit of EU heads of government on ‘EU ambitions for the agriculture and agri-food sectors.’ Perhaps the word ‘EU’ should be replaced by ‘French’.… Read the rest

Pressure grows to drop EU biofuels targets

Three new reports published this week have called on the EU to drop or severley scale back its biofuels targets. These latest interventiosn by the European Parliament Environment Committee, a study group commissioned by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and a leading Brussels-based think tank show that the tide has now firmly turned against the EU’s current subsidy-fueled march towards using ever more of Europe’s land to grow fuel for cars instead of food for people.… Read the rest

Podcast: Latest on health check negotiations with Roger Waite

Roger Waite, editor of Agra Facts, talks about how the Commission’s health check proposals have gone down in recent meetings of the Agriculture Council. Debate has been focused on the extent to which EU farm subsidies will be further decoupled from production levels. We look ahead to the French presidency which begins tomorrow and discuss the role of NGOs in the debate over the future of the CAP in both health check and EU budget review. … Read the rest

Barroso’s biofuels poll – update

A couple of week’s ago Berlaymole noted the mysterious disappearance of the online poll about EU biofuels policy from the website of the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso.

The poll had asked respondents the following question:

Should the E.U. stick to its target to reach 10% biofuels by 2020?
– Yes
– No

The results of the poll have never been published and no explanation has been given as to why the poll has been removed. Fear not. We have reinstated the poll on this website, you’ll find it on the sidebar to the left.

Moreover, I’ve written to Barroso’s spokeswoman Leonor Ribeiro Da Silva under the terms of the Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to documents.… Read the rest

Barroso's biofuels poll – update

A couple of week’s ago Berlaymole noted the mysterious disappearance of the online poll about EU biofuels policy from the website of the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso.
The poll had asked respondents the following question:

Should the E.U. stick to its target to reach 10% biofuels by 2020?
– Yes
– No

The results of the poll have never been published and no explanation has been given as to why the poll has been removed. Fear not. We have reinstated the poll on this website, you’ll find it on the sidebar to the left.
Moreover, I’ve written to Barroso’s spokeswoman Leonor Ribeiro Da Silva under the terms of the Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to documents.… Read the rest

Manna from heaven? CAP ‘spare change’ to boost developing country farmers

Surging prices for agricultural commodities means that the EU spends much less on the traditional ‘market measures’ of the CAP such as intervention buying when prices fall below a target price, export subsidies and private storage aid for unsold surpluses. Last year the EU decided to allocate some of this underspend to the Galileo space programme. This year, the proposal is to channel the money to farmers in developing countries who currently suffer from very low productivity.… Read the rest