Brian Gardner's Blog

Archives for Competition

SUGAR: THE UNFINISHED REFORM

The recently published Court of Auditors critique of the European Union’s reform of the sugar market regime, enlightening in many ways, failed to emphasise the most important lacuna in the Council’s 2005 reform agreement – the failure to deal with the implicit plot against the consumer inherent in the EU’s sugar production quota system. The… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

With world food commodity prices rising again on the prospect of poor harvests in some of the major grain producing areas of the world, it is inevitable that the price of food in the shops will rise. What is also inevitable is that if and when supplies improve and bulk commodity prices fall again retail… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

A majority of the European Union’s agriculture ministers is clearly determined on modification of the Union’s basic market legislation in what is likely to be a vain attempt to bolster farm incomes. This is the major conclusion to be drawn from a paper from the Spanish Presidency issued in the wake of last week’s farm… » 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

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

European farm ministers this week faced up to one of the most insoluble problems in agricultural economics: how do large numbers of small producers sell to a few large buyers without being ripped off? The major item on the agenda of this week’s Agriculture Council was an examination of the European Union’s food delivery chain… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner