Sunday, July 18, 2021

France still tops CAP money league

Some useful data here about agriculture in each member state and the EU as a whole:

France still receives the greatest share of CAP expenditure, €9,448m or 17 per cent of the total.  Spain receives €6,908m and Germany €6280m followed by Italy on €5,778m.  These four states account for 52 per cent of expenditure.

Poland is the leading East European state on €4615m.   Malta receives the smallest amount at €19m.

Monday, July 12, 2021

German commission calls for CAP reform

A broadly based German commission has called for the reorientation of agriculture and food policy:

The report calls for a phasing out of direct payments and a reorientation of the CAP in the direction of environmental, animal welfare and climate change goals. 

The timing is a little odd as the EU has recently agreed the next five year plan for the CAP and the challenge now will be to maintain momentum.

Thursday, July 08, 2021

CAP deal looks like business as usual

After months of difficult negotiations, a compromise was agreed on the next phase of the Common Agricultural Policy, but inevitably not everyone is happy, not least in France:

The new five year framework starts on 1 January 2023.  Direct payments to active farmers will account for 70 per cent or €192bn of the budget which still amounts to over a third of the overall EU budget.  However, at least 25 per cent of this support should be spent on eco schemes such as organic farming or integrated pest management.   Worthy those these schemes may be, do they represent any kind of strategy for tackling agriculture's contribution to climate change?

There is also a €450m a year reserve to bail out farmers in times of market crisis.  This is a substantial sum and it will be interesting to see how it will be triggered.

For all the bells and whistles such as member states being able to impose caps and reductions on direct payments to larger farms, this does look very much like a 'business as usual' settlement despite claims of a fairer, greener and simpler CAP:  Farm organisations have given it a lukewarm reception which suggests that it is not all that bad for their members.

Farmers in Britain are concerned that their competitors will continue to receive direct payments just as they are phased out in the UK.  Their continental counterparts will not be exposed to trade deals that facilitate cheap imports.