11 March 1999
Most radical CAP reform ever — Brown

By FWi staff

THE package of reforms agreed last night for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the most radical ever, claimed Agriculture Minister Nick Brown this morning (Thursday).

“The deal struck is good for farmers, consumers and the countryside,” he said.

Ministers from the 15 European Union (EU) countries struck a deal in the early hours to reduce support for the cereals, dairy and beef sectors.

“When fully implemented, it will cut food bills by £1 billion a year – equivalent to £70 a year for a family of four.”

Mr Brown said the package would set EU agriculture in the right direction for eastward expansion and further trade liberalisation.

“As an agricultural package this works,” he told FWi.

Mr Brown said the deal would help ensure lower food prices for consumers and promote environmentally sustainable farming, especially in the hills.

“This is a package of much-needed change,” he said.

“We can use it as a platform to better serve the industry and its customers. It also puts us in a better decision to improve our international trade.”