OFC - CAP Reform to Meet Increasing Food Demand

UK - An increasing demand for food requires a Common Agricultural Policy that encourages efficiency and does not stifle it, writes Chris Harris.
calendar icon 4 January 2012
clock icon 3 minute read

UK Farm minister Jim Paice told the Oxford Farming Conference that the ever increasing global demand for food will need an increasing proportion of the funds from the CAP to be deployed min investment and innovation and research.

"We need to work with like minded countries, which understand that challenge and set out on a journey to wean the industry away from direct support, not now, not even in the next seven year period but a journey with a destination," he said.

To this end he said that he foresaw the ending of the Single Farm Payments and he warned that farmers in more developed countries in the EU would have to expect a reduction in the payments in the reforms of the CAP.

He said that the payment could not be phased out immediately as it would still be seen to be required in developing countries in the EU in Eastern Europe.

However, he said that the payment does not stimulate competition and it is expensive and it is unbalanced because it is a support to all farms no matter what their incomes.

Mr Paice also called for the greening of the Common Agricultural Policy to add genuine value to the taxpayer and to the environment.

"We would prefer it to be done through Pillar Two but if it has to be in Pillar One as well, then we will work to ensure that it is as uncomplicated as possible while producing real benefits," he said.

He added: "We must not forget that the CAP we are negotiating is for the whole EU, not just the UK.

"We need a policy, which helps those very small farms, often with poor productivity, just as much as it is for the very large farm businesses, whether they are here in Britain of the former collectives in the Eastern countries of Europe."

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