Ministers discuss single common market organisation

© EU Council

Yesterday in Brussels saw the first Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting of 2012, and the first meeting to be held under the Danish presidency. Ministers met to hold an exchange of views on the proposal for a regulation establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products (Single common market organisation (CMO) regulation) within the framework of the CAP.

Initially proposed by the European Commission in 2006, the single Common Market Organisation for all agricultural products aimed to streamline and simplify the Common Agricultural Policy. It was introduced in 2008, replacing the existing 21 CMOs.

The proposal for a new single CMO is now part of the CAP reform package presented by the Commission in October 2011. It forms one of the four main proposals to be adopted by the Council and the European Parliament along with direct payments, rural development and the financing of the CAP.

At yesterday’s debate the focus was on:

  • exceptional measures in case of market disturbances
  • measures to create a more competitive and well functioning food supply chain (more specifically the reinforcement of producer organisations)

A press release was issued by the Council after the meeting  (link below).  As regards measures to respond rapidly to an agricultural crisis:

“Most of the Member States considered the proposal went in the right direction. While some delegations welcomed the creation of a specific crisis fund in case of major disturbance applying to all the agricultural productions, some other highlighted the need for this fund to be used only in exceptional circumstances which should be clearly defined. In addition, some Member States questioned the financing of this crisis fund.”

Concerning the reinforcement of producer organisations and the role to attribute to interbranch organisations:

“Many countries backed the proposals from the Commission. They considered that this should help to better balance the bargaining power of producers in the food chain. However a number of delegations stressed that the new rules concerning producer organisations should be voluntary in order to adapt to the different national situations. Some Member States insisted that this should not introduce a competition distortion.”

  • Find the press release here
  • Find video clips of the event here
  • Find photos of the event here
  • All documents linked to the event can be found on the Council website here