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"Green shift" in EU farm support underway

Big changes to EU farm subsidies expected, amongst other things, to benefit the environment have begun to bite. Ten "old" or EU-15 member states implemented on 1 January a big common agricultural policy (CAP) reform agreed in 2003 (EED 26/06/03). The other five will make the change in 2006, and all ten new member states by 2009. The reformed CAP makes farm support largely independent of production, links payments to respect for environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards, and increases rural development funding. See European Commission press release.

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