Farming In Europe
Scotland is shaped to a large degree by decisions taken in Europe.
Since the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was established in
1962, the vast majority of support for farming has come from the
In the aftermath
of World War II, the goal of the CAP was to achieve food self-sufficiency
and stabilise turbulent agricultural markets. The goals of the
CAP, agreed in the Treaty of Rome, were as follows:
• To increase agricultural productivity
• To ensure a fair standard of living for the agricultural
• To secure food supply
• To stabilise markets
• To provide consumers with reliable supplies of food at
introduction, the CAP has undergone a series of reforms in an
attempt to adapt to changing circumstances. Self-sufficiency for
the original six EU member states was achieved in the first decade
of the CAP, accompanied by low consumer prices. Economic and technological
progresses benefited agriculture and productivity increased, which
further stimulated output.
The latest reform of
the CAP (mid-term review) began in summer 2002, driven to a large
degree by impending EU enlargement and the need to cut spending.
The main elements of the CAP Reform package were agreed by the
Council of Ministers in June 2003.
This reform of the
CAP has marked a radical change in agriculture support breaking
the link between production and support. The Reform presents individual
farmers with the opportunity and flexibility to base management
decisions on customer requirements and the inherent capability
of their farms, rather than the requirements of support schemes.
The new rules in Scotland came into effect in January 2005.
CAP has been the main driver of EU farm policy, an increasing
number of environmental and trade directives emanate from Brussels,
shaping the way Scottish farmers do business. That is why NFU
Scotland has an office in Brussels.