How should Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) respond to the “food crisis”? Our environment analyst Roger Harrabin examines how worries about food are stimulating a debate about the long-term future of the CAP.
The Common Agricultural Policy – the vast system that costs Europe’s taxpayers more than £30bn pounds a year – will be spruced up on Tuesday.
The European Commission will introduce a series of proposals aimed at making farmers more responsive to the market and distancing the CAP from the old system in which farmers were paid to produce food.
The Commission wants to get rid of almost all direct payments to farmers for production.
It wants to scrap controversial set-aside policies in which farmers are paid to leave land fallow; to remove quotas on producing things like milk; and to shift more farm support into a broader rural development fund.
Is it just me, or does this sound like Europe is going free market in the farming realm?