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Sunday, March 26, 2017
Agency says new EU farm subsidy ignores world's poor
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¬†CAFOD has condemned the EU's latest Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) deal, saying that it comes at the expense of the developing world. The Catholic aid agency says that the French Government and other anti-reform allies have successfully frozen in place a deeply unfair and damaging agricultural policy as the price for agreeing to EU Enlargement. CAFOD's Trade Policy Analyst Duncan Green said: "For all the EU leadership's protestations of concern for the world's poor, poverty was sidelined by pork in the debate on CAP reform. Development concerns went out the window as member states seem more interested in safeguarding their cash flow, than in ending CAP's disastrous impact on the world's poor." The deal means farm subsidies will be capped at 2006 levels but will still be some £30bn in 2013, although Prime Minister Tony Blair told Parliament today that the current Mid-Term Review of CAP will continue. Green said: "The French camp has definitely won the first battle of the latest skirmish. CAP reform is slipping through the fingers of Tony Blair and other European leaders - they have one last chance in the Mid-Term Review. "This agreement makes the Mid-Term Review of CAP more vital than ever. It's now or never for CAP reform. Once the enlargement countries join, they will join France as net recipients of CAP funding, and are therefore likely to oppose reform. Once that happens, the EU will have missed the boat on CAP reform. "Serious proposals for reform are still on the table, which could end some of the most damaging aspects of the CAP. In particular, the European Commission wants to 'decouple' subsidies from production, an important step in ending the EU's problem of over-production, which is then dumped on the world market, depressing prices for Third World farmers." In a report published last month, titled Dumping on the Poor, CAFOD showed how British taxes are destroying livelihoods in countries like Jamaica and South Africa and are acting as a major roadblock to development. Green said: "It is time to scrap the CAP. The EU's support for dairy farmers amounts to around £11 billion per year, which works out as about £1.40 per day for each cow. Put another way, the average EU cow now receives more than the income of half the world's population. UK taxpayers are unwittingly supporting a system that destroys livelihoods of millions of poor farmers around the developing world, and does little to benefit European farmers."
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