Europe adopts Agenda 2000 plan
By FWi staff
THE European Commission this afternoon (Wednesday) officially adopted the Agenda 2000 package and paved the way for radical shake-up of the Common Agricultural Policy.
The Agenda 2000 proposals call for substantial cuts in support prices for cereals, beef and dairy products. If the European Unions 15 farm ministers approve the plans, the prices of many farm products will be cut from the year 2000.
Arable farmers will face a 20% cut in cereal prices. And livestock producers could suffer a 30% cut in beef prices. Dairy prices could drop by 15%.
Compulsory set-aside will be abolished and farmers will be compensated by directed payments, rather than subsidies based on the amount of food they produce.
Milk quota will be increased by 2%. But UK farmers are unlikely to benefit because much of the increase will go to farmers in other EU states.
The reforms are aimed at eastward expansion of the EU to include Central and Eastern European countries. But they are also designed to meet World Trade Organisation agreements which require the EU to adopt a less protectionist stance towards global markets.