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The end of what might be described as the bad old common agricultural policy based on expensively rigged markets was recently marked by what should be the final removal of export subsidies on agricultural commodities. For over fifty years these subsidies have been a major mechanism for maintaining high farm prices in the European Union.… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The European Parliament’s somewhat frenzied concern about the possible indirect land use change (ILUC) resulting from EU biofuel policies is a splendid example of the phenomenon of unintended consequences. While acting on the basis of some pretty questionable science, the MEPs are constructing a new form of protectionism which is likely to damage the interests… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The increasing prosperity of the world’s largest concentration of people – China – is likely to put increasing pressure on the world’s food supply. With a population of more than 1.3 million, an annual economic growth rate of c. 7.5 per cent, and a growing middle class, China is going to increase substantially its demand… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

An endless refrain of British Governments over the decades has been the need to reform the Common Agricultural Policy, usually delivered above a continuo of the need to make economies in the running of the European Union. It would be logical to deduce therefore that whenever the opportunity to improve the efficiency and the economic… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

Whatever dreams environmentalists may have of a world fed by a chemical-free organic agriculture, the hard reality is likely to be something very different. Laudable though the green farming paradigm may be, it is certain that a largely increased and more prosperous world population will only be fed by increased agricultural output. Such increase can… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

Whatever governments may or may not agree on GHG emissions, the one thing that is likely is that average global temperatures will continue to rise. What is also likely is that the world’s food production capacity will be affected by the change that temperature rises will create. There is however no consensus on what the… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

It is no surprise that a majority of EU government appear to be opposed to the European Commission’s proposal to limit the amount of food grains that may be used in biofuel production. Significantly, it was the central European member states that the recent Environment Ministers meeting demonstrated are most opposed to the Commission’s new… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The enthusiasm of the European Union and the United States for the forging of a bilateral trade agreement, while it may be good news – largely for multinationals involved in transatlantic trade – bodes ill for the future of multilateral trade liberalisation. Such agreements are as important for what is excluded as what they may… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

It seems inevitable that the current drive to reform European agriculture policy as part of the 2014-20 budget re-vamp is likely to be a great opportunity missed. The deliberations of the Commission, Parliament and Council are leading on to a massive over-complication of the policy. The potpourri of social, environmental and production supporting measures is… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner