Explaining how it is all to be achieved
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CTA. 2003. Explaining how it is all to be achieved. Agritrade, March 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52938
In addressing the National Union of Farmers in the UK on February 18th 2003,...
In addressing the National Union of Farmers in the UK on February 18th 2003, Commissioner Fischler raised directly a major apparent contradiction in EU policy, namely 'how can EU agriculture simultaneously be competitive on the world markets, competing at lower prices, while producing at higher costs and meeting our high environmental, food quality, or animal welfare standards?' Commissioner Fischler maintained that the proposed trajectory for reform offered the vehicle for reconciling these seemingly contradictory objectives, since it would bridge the gap between EU and world market prices by shifting support from products to producers. He cited developments in the cereals sector as an excellent example of what could be achieved, pointing out that Europe's interest lay in selling food products rather than basic raw materials. He admitted that this constituted the key interface with the WTO negotiations, and that unfortunately the current Harbinson proposals (see above) were not consistent with EU objectives. Comment: Implicit in Commissioner Fischler's presentation to the NFU was that the shift to decoupled support would cover both the income losses arising from price reductions and the extra costs associated with meeting the higher standards which the EU was now setting for its food products. Ensuring a WTO agreement which allows decoupled support programmes to carry these costs is a key objective of the EU in the current agricultural negotiations.