18 March 1998
CAP reform announcement due today

By FWi staff

BRUSSELS will today unveil some of the most sweeping changes ever made to the £30 billion-a-year Common Agricultural Policy.

The proposals are expected to include direct payments to individual farmers rather than subsidies paid on crops.

The reforms are also expected to end price supports for butter, beef, and milk. The changes could also pave the way for the end of set-aside as a means of regulating cereal production.

The idea is to make European producers more self-sufficient and encourage them to compete on world markets. But they will also prevent agricultural subsidies from bankrupting Brussels when the Central and Eastern European nations are admitted into the European Union early next centry

Analysts say the reforms could benefit the consumer and cut each persons food bills by £80 a year.