Mixed feelings about EU CAP health check
EU farm commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel has announced her plans to
further reform European Union's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Major elements in the plans are increased rates of modulation, an end to
set-aside, increases in milk quota and the phasing out of more production-linked
"We must clear away obstacles which are hindering
farmers' responses to market signals," she said. "We must make our support
systems more effective, efficient and simple. And we must help farms meet
various developing challenges, such as climate change."
The CAP, a system of agricultural subsidies and
programmes, was originally set up to provide European farmers with a reasonable
standard of living, consumers with quality food at fair prices and to make sure
rural heritage is preserved.
Growing amounts of criticism about unfair
subsidies and also the growing number of countries being added to the EU zone,
made a further reform of the CAP necessary.
Most of the reforms are
related to the dairy and beef industry as other sectors were reformed and
decoupled during the first round of reforms in 2003. The further loss of those
direct subsidies may affect the pork and poultry industry indirectly as it might
drive producers to go into pork or poultry
First reactions from France and Germany
sounded disappointed; the German agriculture minister Horst Seehofer has already
announced not to go along with it. Seehofer and the German farmers alike feel
the subsidy cuts harm the EU policy's reliability.
Denmark and the UK on
the other hand feel that Fischer Boel's proposals might not be far-stretching enough.
The Danish agriculture minister Eva Kjer Hansen said she'd preferred to see a
more liberalised market and more market orientation.
â€¢ European Union
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