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French President Nicolas Sarkozy believes that a reversion to a traditional CAP based on market manipulation and frontier protection would cost the EU budget less than the current direct subsidy based system, The President told French farm industry leaders on March 6 that in upcoming CAP reform negotiations France would be prepared to trade budget… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The recent update of the European Commissions’ Scenar 2020 analysis of agricultural and rural development over the next ten years provides a stimulating background to the current debate on the future of the CAP. As of course it is intended to do. It provides a very useful analytical background to critical assessment of all the… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The proposals for a reformed agricultural and rural policy from the Socialist and Democratic group in the European Parliament are confused and confusing. The group’s plan for a post 2013 CAP is claimed to be an “innovative and integrated system which would make the allocation of resources fairer among farmers and member states”. In fact,… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

WORRYING ABOUT BIOFUELS

The impact of biofuels on food supplies present and future is one of the latest worries of the environmental lobby. Once favoured a s a means of reducing finite fossil fuel dependency, it is now seen as snatching basic foods from the mouths of the poor to feed the fuel tanks of the affluent. The… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation has clearly had second thoughts on livestock production’s contribution to environmental degradation and climate change. In its report ‘Livestock’s Long Shadow’ published four years ago it uncompromisingly blamed the world’s beef, dairy, pig, poultry and sheep producers for making a major and too often unnecessary contribution to AGHG emissions… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

Discussions at this week’s meeting of European Union agriculture ministers had an inevitable predictability. The major subject was the farmers’ disadvantaged position in the food marketing chain. Unsurprisingly, the answer to the ‘problem’ of farmers’ perceived inadequate share of the profits of food production and marketing for the majority of the Council is more –… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The long running dialogue on the ‘best’ model of trade in food and agricultural products to ensure food security inside and outside the European Union has been further enlivened by recent publication of a UK Government analysis of the issue. This clearly and unsurprisingly , emphases that only free trade will ensure both domestic and… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

Anyone hoping that the trade ministers meeting in the margins of the Davos World Economic Forum would lead to an early regeneration of the Doha Round of trade talks is likely to be disappointed. While ministers of twenty three of the World Trade Organisation’s member countries did commit themselves to resuming the talks and to… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The rash of recent reports highlighting the issues of European farming and the environment, European farming and climate change and the pressure of population and urban growth on farmed land all concentrate attention on the basic dilemma of European agriculture policy development. The challenge can be reduced to one question: how to get more for… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

Moves from various pressure groups and vegetarian celebs to promote reduced meat consumption as one means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions raises a number of important questions. Many sceptics would put such action in the category of futile gestures. Scientific evidence would suggest that a universal ‘meatless Monday’ would make only a minimal difference to… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner