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EC Should Retreat from Commercial Decisions at Farm Level - NBA
06/08/07

The European Commission must confine itself to only a “health check” when it re-examines its policy on subsidy decoupling in 2008, the National Beef Association said today.

© www.jennifermackenzie.co.uk

beef cattle

A complete overhaul of the CAP, on the same lines as the so-called 2002 review which eventually resulted in a full scale revamp and then the dismantling of direct subsidies in 2005, is the last thing farmers either want, or need, at a time they are only just beginning to get to grips with the most recent round of changes.

“The 2005 reforms moved UK farming irreversibly along the decoupled route and there have already been significant movements in the beef sector to accommodate the Commission’s wish to see more alignment between production and the market,” explained NBA director, Kim Haywood.

“Beef farmers are also right in the middle of moves to erase the glaring production inefficiencies created by decades of poorly targeted headage payments and any decision in Brussels that interrupted this much needed progression would be both ill-advised and confusing.”

The NBA would also like to make clear its wish that both the Commission and the UK national government should retreat as far as possible from interfering with commercial decisions at farm level and confine themselves to disease control, food safety issues, farm yard research, the promotion of overseas marketing and assistance for farmers, through knowledge transfer and other tools, as they meet the challenge of the move from coupled to decoupled production systems.

“Farmers want only to farm now that decoupling has given them the freedom to manage their businesses in the way that is best for their holding, and for themselves,” said Ms Haywood.

“Government, and the Commission, should steer clear of issues that impact directly on commercial farming and contribute too much needed, long term, stability by creating the least regulated, and least complicated, management environment that is possible for practical farmers instead.”

“There is much that must still to be done in Brussels and at government level to make this possible and no reason whatsoever for anything beyond simple fine tuning and adjustment to be considered when EU farm ministers once again turn their minds to the CAP.”

link Beef Supply Shock On the Way
link UK Beef Exports Hit £122 Million
link Beef Farmers Await Positive Price Signal

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