UK ministry view of CAP

© GrahamPadruig (wikicommons)

Following Lord Taylor’s comment that the Common Agricultural Policy is “unfit for purpose”, ARC 2020 asked the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) just what purpose Lord Taylor does have in mind for the CAP. A spokesman told ARC 2020 that: “The CAP was set up 50 years ago and is outdated. As the world population is set to hit 9 billion, there are huge challenges to produce more food and protect the environment.”

Reminded of the huge proportion of the world’s food supply that is not traded around the globe as commodities, but which feeds local and regional populations, the DEFRA press officer added that climate change would not have the dramatic effects on European agriculture that it is having elsewhere in the world. “The EU still has potential spare capacity to produce food for member states and third countries.”

The ministry’s formal responses to specific issues within the CAP reform proposals are here (April 2011) and here (October 2011). No other response is expected now until formal negotiations start in earnest next year.

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Peter Crosskey is based in the UK.