Brian Gardner's Blog

Archives for agricultural policy

Governments aiming to achieve greater food security are unlikely to achieve it through greater self-sufficiency in food production. In fact, pursuit of self-sufficiency is likely to be a major cause of global food insecurity. The risks of food shortages are likely to be greater if barriers are raised against food imports and there is greater… » 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

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

Despite the existence of much information to the contrary, the myth of the poor European farmer persists. In most western countries of the European Union farms run as businesses make a good living – as good if not better than in other sectors of the economy. Real income data, rather than global averages, proves the… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner