The MacSharry reform started the shift from product support (through prices) to producer support (through income support).
The reform aimed to improve the competitiveness of EU agriculture, stabilise the agricultural markets, diversify the production and protect the environment, as well as stabilise the EU budget expenditure.
Direct payments were introduced in order to compensate for the decrease of the price support (cereal guaranteed prices were lowered by 35%, and beef prices by 15%).
Compulsory set-aside and other accompanying measures (agri-environment programmes, afforestation, early retirement, diversification) were also introduced.
- Commission Communication: "The development and future of the CAP - Reflections paper of the Commission" (01/02/1991)
- Commission Communication: "The development and future of the common agricultural policy - Follow up to the Reflection Paper - Proposals of the Commission" (22/07/1991)
- "Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy - Legal texts (arable crops, sheepmeat, beefmeat)" (presented by the Commission) (18/10/1991)
- Council Regulations (EEC) Nos 2046/92 to 2080/92 (dairy, meat, raw tobacco and other sectors as well as the accompanying measures)
- Agricultural Strategy Paper from the Commission: "Study on alternative strategies for the development of relations in the field of agriculture between the EU and the associated countries with a view to future accession of these countries" (12/12/1995)
For a more detailed explanation of this period read the first pages of the document "The Common Agricultural Policy - Promoting Europe's agriculture and rural areas: Continuity and change" of 1998.