10 June 1998
EC to back increase in set-aside

THE European Commission is expected today (Wednesday) to endorse proposals for an increase in set-aside next year.

The EC will consider a set-aside level of 10% or 12% compared with the existing 5%.

Germany is in favour of an increase approaching this level, while there will be opposition from France.

The move is an effort to curb an expansion of grain stocks and to protect the environment from expanding arable production. However, increasing set-aside would be at odds with the commissions Agenda 2000 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform proposals, which aim to make the EU competitive in world markets – and would in effect end set-aside.

Without increasing set-aside, says the commission, grain stocks will rise to 30 million tonnes in 1999-2000, almost as lmuch as the 33m tonnes which prompted the start of compulsory set-aside in 1993. The proposed increase would be the first since then.

  • Financial Times 10/06/98 page 38