Germans agree to CAPshift

17 October 1997

Germans agree to CAPshift

GERMAN landowners have acknowledged that CAP reform to turn support away from food production to boost the rural economy is necessary, but claimed it should stay within the remit of EU farm commissioner Franz Fischlers department (DGVI).

Michael zu Salm, head of the German Landowners Federation, said he was concerned that too much control of agricultural spending was being redirected to the consumer affairs department, headed by commissioner Emma Bonino.

Mr zu Salm rejected a ceiling on CAP payments, saying support cuts should be made on a sliding scale run by Brussels.

However, the hopes of widespread CAP reform progress during the UK presidency, which begins in January, may be dashed by the forthcoming German elections in September 1998: "No German politicians will want to move too fast prior to the election," he said.

Speaking after a meeting with CLA president Ewen Cameron, Mr zu Salm said the German government had taken firm steps following the discovery of banned UK beef in Germany.

"Three firms involved have since been closed and we are trying to tighten up monitoring in the Landers to prevent it happening again," he said.

Consumer confidence in beef in Germany is rising slowly with support for regional products which have can be easily traced, and have quality assurance along with a full audit.

CLApresident Ewan Cameron held talks on CAPreform and the BSEcrisis with Michael zu Salm.

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