GFM Network News

EU Calls On Farmers To Start Adapting To Climate

Europe’s farmers must think how to adapt to climate change in coming decades, altering their practices to cut greenhouse gas emissions, make agriculture more resilient and keep land in use, a European Commission paper said. The uneven effects of climatic change were likely to widen regional differences across the European Union’s farmland and increase economic

World Vulnerable To More Food Price Spikes

Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman is calling for better co-ordinated aid to cope with runaway food prices, warning the world was vulnerable to a repeat of the 2008 agricultural market spike. Speaking at a seminar, Krugman said the reasons for last year’s food price rise had now been masked by the economic and financial downturn,

Keep Your Distance. But How Far?

Only 15 of the European Union’s 27 countries have agreed laws for separating organic, traditional and biotech crops, with several reluctant even to debate such a sensitive issue, the EU’s farm chief says. EU countries have been encouraged to make their own laws to facilitate cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops if farmers want to

EU rethinks support for poor areas

Europe’s agriculture chief wants to revamp the rules for how the European Union pays extra subsidies for economically deprived areas, tightening criteria that may partially redraw the map of Europe’s poorest farmland. The EU’s system of less favoured areas (LFAs), or regions considered as disadvantaged and eligible for higher farming subsidies, has been under fire

EU executive advances on GM crops

European Union biotech experts will get the chance in February to vote whether to allow two genetically modified (GM) maize types to be grown in Europe, in a bid to break the long-standing EU deadlock on growing GM crops. The full European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, on Jan. 21 backed proposals drafted by its

EU to scrutinize competition in food retail sector

EU regulators warned Nov. 26 of a risk that consolidation in the food retail sector might act against the interests of consumers and producers, saying a close watch should be kept on uncompetitive behaviour. A draft paper authored by the European Commission called for case-by-case screening of a string of retail practices that could be

Volatile farm prices a worry

EU regulators should discuss with United States authorities ways to curb volatility in agricultural commodity markets so as to avoid unwanted buildups in speculative positions, a draft paper showed Nov. 26. The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm and author of the document, said it would examine the possibility of taking regulatory initiatives in this

EU reforms cut subsidies to big farms

European Union governments agreed Nov. 20 to divert chunks of long-standing subsidies enjoyed by large farms into countryside preservation schemes in the biggest revamp of farm policies for five years. The early-morning deal came after concessions given by EU Agr icul ture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel, most notably to France, Germany and Italy, in an

EU spotlights large farms in subsidy reform debate

Europe’s farmers, especially the wealthiest ones, may see the end of a string of “old-style” subsidy schemes next year as agriculture ministers negotiate the most ambitious policy reforms in five years. European Union farm ministers met Nov. 19 to negotiate and finalize an agreement on a series of proposed changes to the Common Agricultural Policy

Auditors find EU overpaying farmers in error

European Union auditors gave a cautious welcome Nov. 10 to improvements in how the bloc spends its huge budget, but pointed out billions of euros of subsidies continue to be paid out incorrectly. Persistent errors and weak internal controls in areas like agriculture, especially countryside projects, and regional aid were highlighted. In its annual report,