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Common Agricultural Policy

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 18th January 2011.

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Photo of Julian Sturdy Julian Sturdy Conservative, York Outer

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her Department's objectives are for the forthcoming negotiations on the common agricultural policy.

Photo of James Paice James Paice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The UK wants to see a competitive, thriving and sustainable EU agriculture and food sector that is able to rise to the challenges and opportunities of the future. We therefore need ambitious reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP) to deliver good value for farmers, taxpayers, consumers and the environment.

Future agriculture policy must have viable, competitive farming at its heart, building a stronger European agricultural sector that is free to farm and able to compete in global markets. With intense pressures on public finances, there should be a substantial cut to the CAP Budget. Future expenditure must be well targeted, delivering measurable outputs that offer real value for money and societal benefits that the market place cannot provide. It should tackle the key objectives of encouraging a competitive, sustainable EU agriculture sector, reducing reliance on subsidies and focusing resources on the provision of environmental public goods. This must be underpinned by further simplification of the CAP and reduction of regulatory burdens.

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