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Move to modernise EU farming policy - 20/05/2008

EU farming policy adjustment will allow farmers to maximise production potential to meet growing food demand.

Proposals to modernise and simplify the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP) have been put forward this week, as the EU seeks to mitigate the effects of rising global food prices.

"It is all about freeing our farmers to meet growing demand and respond quickly to what the market is telling them", said Mariann Fischer Boel, EU farming commissioner.

The proposed CAP adjustment includes:

  • abolishing set-aside rules requiring arable farmers to leave 10% of land fallow
  • phasing out milk quotas by one percent per year from 2009-13
  • simplifying the link between subsidies and environmental, animal welfare and food quality standards
  • more flexible support for sectors with special problems
  • moving some direct aid into rural development, to support renewable energy, water management and biodiversity and measures to address climate change
  • ending market intervention in certain areas so farmers can respond more quickly to market trends

Alongside these proposals, the EU has also published some possible policy responses to the global food crisis. In addition to the CAP upgrade, the policy paper advocates  initiatives to secure food supplies and more coordinated international cooperation with poorer countries.

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