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Common Agricultural Policy: Reform

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with his European counterparts on Common Agricultural Policy subsidies and reform in favour of aiding the use of excess crop production for the domestic production of bio-fuels. (125562)

The Government have regular discussions with other member states and the European Commission on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). These discussions are likely to become more frequent as we move towards the proposed ‘healthcheck’ in 2008.

Our objectives for the CAP include completing the process of decoupling direct aid and the removal of compulsory set-aside land so that farmers across the EU are free to produce crops in response to market demand. We also aim to end the intervention system which leads to surplus production.

We will consider the existing CAP measures that support the production of biofuels in the context of these objectives, and Government initiatives to promote the use of bio-energy in road transport fuels.