28 July 1995

Flexible set-aside call

SET-ASIDE rates need to become more flexible in the EU, rather than being held within a tight band, argues Dominique Mathieu, chairman of the European Arable Farmers Club, who farms in France and Texas.

Indeed, without an agreed worldwide rate there is a danger that the US, in particular, will adjust its set-aside to exploit market opportunities created by an EU policy which is too inflexible to respond to market need, he argues.

"The US is ready to take set-aside out so they can market everything they can. If we dont have an agreed world rate we may lose some markets."

US growers already have a system which can switch from 15% set-aside to none in a single year, he claims. French negotiators want an EU rate below 5% for 1995. &#42