European industry supports CAP reform

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Drink industry, European union

The CIAA, which represents the interests of the European food and
drink industry, has welcomed most of the proposed changes to the
cumbersome Common Agricultural Policy, but remains concerned over
potential supply shortages in certain areas.

European food and drink producers, which account for some 70 per cent of the total agricultural output of the 15 EU Member States, have welcomed proposals by the European Commission to reform the cumbersome Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The CIAA (the Confederation of food and drink industries in the EU, which represents the interests of the industry) held a reception at the European Parliament earlier this week which brought together more than 200 people, including 70 MEPs and a large number of food and drink industry representatives, to discuss the proposed changes to the CAP.

"Our industry needs to ensure its long-term supply of raw materials. In order to increase our competitivity on world markets, the price of these raw materials should more closely reflect world market prices, given that a significant part of our production is exported ,"​said Robert Raeber, president of the CIAA.

"Two major events make it necessary to adjust the CAP and rapidly reach a strong common European consensus : EU enlargement negotiations on the one hand and WTO negotiations on the other."​ Ten new countries, mostly from Central and Eastern Europe, have been approved for entry to the EU in 2004, and a failure to revise the complicated system of subsidies for farmers would mean total chaos once the Union has 25 members.

The CIAA has responded positively to the Commission proposals aiming at replacing the support to product by support to the producer and to promoting agriculture in terms of performance, proficiency and efficiency. "The food and drink industry, which is committed to sustainable development, welcomes the introduction of mechanisms which aim to promote agriculture which is more environmentally friendly and which reinforces the quality and safety of food,"​ the CIAA said in a statement.

However, the industry's support was not unilateral. "The CIAA regrets that the Commission has not sufficiently taken into account the possible consequences of its proposals on the supply for certain sectors of the food and drink industry,"​ the statement continued. The industry will certainly be pushing for further clarification on this point.

Related topics: Market Trends

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