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The European Union’s biofuels policy is an outstanding example of the working out of the so-called ‘law’ of unintended consequences. At the time of the biofuels policy’s birth, the advantages of encouraging the conversion of food crops to ‘green’ fuel seemed obvious. In the mid-1990s Europe and the developed world generally were awash with surplus… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

Cutting down the range of non-agricultural entities which are currently able to claim EU farm income subsidies is one of the important positive changes in the operation of the European Union’s agriculture policy now being recommended by the European Parliament’s agriculture committee ( Com-Agri). The committee voted in favour of this and more than 30… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

According to defenders of an unreformed European agriculture policy, current plans to harmonise and restrict EU farm income payments are likely to threaten viability of the agriculture industry and restrict output. Such an effect would, it is argued, pose a serious threat to the ability of the EU farm industry to improve both EU and… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

WHY THE WORLD NEEDS GM CROPS

Anyone who has studied the science of genetic modification of food crops knows full well that they pose no threat to human health or wellbeing. Likewise, they also know that they have the potential to make a major contribution to increasing world food supplies. Most vitally, they could represent a means of increasing the food… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

Agricultural policy makers in the European Union tend to devote a lot of energy to worrying about the aging of the agricultural population. While this trend undoubtedly has important implications for the social structure and economic health of Europe’s remoter areas, in the longer term it may not be the problem as currently conceived. There… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

MORE FOOD WITHOUT MORE LAND?

If an increasing world population is to be adequately fed, food production has to be increased. Estimates vary on just how big the increase has to be. They range between increases of 45-50 per cent on the optimistic side, to the worst case scenario of over 80 per cent by the mid-century. What most analysts… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

It is becoming ever clearer that there is no real intention on the part of the European Union’s agriculture ministers to agree any effective reforms of the EU agriculture policy. The Council of Agriculture ministers meeting at the beginning of this month indicated only too clearly that the final agreement for the 2014-20 MFF will… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

NO PRESSURE FOR CAP REFORM

So, predictably, the EU budget wrangle drags on. Equally predictably, spending on the cash-guzzling agricultural budget is at the heart of the argument. However the negotiations end up the annual spending on agriculture policy will still remain close to 40 per cent of the Union’s total spending. It doesn’t really matter whose version of the… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner