Conservative MEPs have described the CAP reform proposals that have emerged from Brussels as “as one massive wasted opportunity”.
The proposals were unveiled on Wednesday (12 Oct) by farm commissioner Dacian Ciolos.
Richard Ashworth, the Conservative’s agriculture spokesman in the European Parliament, said they were a backward step which failed to address the policy’s worst faults.
The last two reviews of CAP had taken a very clear direction towards creating a viable and globally-competitive food industry, but these proposals did not seem to take the policy forward.
“This doesn’t take the CAP forward or do anything to tackle the real issues – about how we address food security concerns and grow more food using fewer resources.”
Proposals to cap payments for large farms and to reclassify less favoured areas (LFAs) were unwelcome, he said.
They would not reduce bureaucracy or help farmers feed a growing population
“It seems no thought has been given to making farmers successful instead of subsidising their failure,” he said.
“We should be working to create a stand-alone industry that can be weaned off subsidies. We should be freeing farmers from red tape so that they can react quickly to market forces. Instead of tying them up in green tape and making it harder for them to produce food, we need to let farmers get on with farming.”
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