UK Conservatives endorse the CAP

John Gummer MP, the former UK Agriculture Minister who is currently advising Conservative Party leader David Cameron on farm policy, has taken a swipe those in his party who call for a repatriation of the EU’s common agricultural policy:

“There is no doubt at all that unless we get a kind of common deal in the EU farmers will get no money at all. No British government of any kind is prepared to foot the bill. Anybody who dares to talk about repatriation doesn’t care about farming because you won’t have it.”

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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.… Read the rest

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.… Read the rest

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.… 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

69 Ways to Reform the CAP

Analyses of the contents of the Commission’s Health Check Communication have heightened in recent days with the content of the leaked draft document reported in the agriculture press. Of particular interest from an environmental perspective, is the resurgence of the little applied Article 69. This article is housed within the current CAP legislation, Regulation 1782/2003, and allows a Member State to skim off up to ten per cent of the monies to be directed at one sector and provide an additional payment that is targeted at the ‘protection or enhancement of the environment’, or for ‘improving the quality and marketing of agricultural products’.… Read the rest