August 20, 2019

EU: CAP Overview, Food Prices, “Agriturismo,” & Other Diverse Issues

Categories: EU

CAP Overview

Jack Thurston, writing earlier this week at The CAP Health Check Blog, noted that, “The new issue of Food Ethics magazine is devoted to a discussion of CAP [The Common Agricultural Policy] reform and the 2008 CAP Health Check. Alongside articles by CAP Health Check blogger Wyn Grant and me, you’ll find some useful analysis by many of the movers and shakers in the CAP debate, both in Brussels, the UK and elsewhere. Read article-by-article here, or download the entire magazine as a handy PDF file: Food Ethics – CAP Reform issue. The Food Ethics Council is a UK-registered charity that challenges government, business and society to make wise choices that lead to better food and farming.”

Food Prices

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Mariann Fischer Boel posted an update to her blog recently, where she noted that, “One of the hottest topics over the month of August was the rising price of food. The media in Germany went into overdrive over the soaring cost of milk, and the story rapidly spread further afield. There was similar concern about the effect of tight grain supplies on retail prices for bread and meat.

“I’ve obviously been watching the market situation very closely.”


Biofuels: Energy Policy, Prices, Resource & Trade Issues

Reuters writer Missy Ryan reported yesterday that, “U.S. farm groups bristled this week at calls for deeper cuts to American agriculture subsidies, just as trade negotiators urged the United States to do more to break a stubborn stalemate in world trade talks…Dave Salmonsen, who follows trade at the American Farm Bureau Federation, the largest U.S. agriculture group, said trading partners were wrong to place the onus on the United States for moving the World Trade Organization’s Doha round closer to a long-elusive agreement.”

I. Biofuels
II. Doha
III. Farm Bill

I. Biofuels

Joe Barrett, writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, reported that, “Everywhere farmers grow corn, water is becoming a major concern as ethanol plants ramp up production at a startling rate and the threat of drought is ever-present. Rushing to help meet President Bush’s call to cut gasoline use by 20% over the next 10 years, the ethanol industry has projects under way that would nearly double capacity from the current 6.8 billion gallons of ethanol a year.

“A 50-million gallon ethanol plant might use about 150 million gallons of water to make fuel. That’s more water than some small towns use, raising some local battles over placement of the plants. But farmers in Mr. Clements’s district alone pumped 62.6 billion gallons of water from underground in 2005. That’s why many water experts are more concerned about farmers growing more thirsty corn to meet the extra demand from ethanol than they are about the water used by the distilleries themselves.”