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The Other Side of the Mountain: The impact of Europe's common agricultural policy on sustainable agriculture in the South

Iain Farquhar

Report/paper, 42 pages

Providing an overview for international policy makers and practitioners, this paper looks at ways in which the CAP is affecting sustainable agriculture in the developing world, through detailed examinations of two areas of impact: beef and bananas. It introduces the background to the CAP, from its origins as a tool for ensuring food self-sufficiency in Europe while preserving rural quality of life, to the present, where both World Trade rules and the expansion of the EU require major reform. The notion of sustainable agriculture, and some of its strengths and weaknesses, are discussed, before the ‘Policies that Work’ project methodology and aims are introduced.
The paper looks at the beef sector and banana sectors, and the ways in which CAP support to European farmers has impacted on agricultural practices, people and the environment in the South. Issues of sustainability are examined, and the policy future and alternatives examined. The paper closes with a look at proposed and existing reforms to the CAP (including a detailed examination of Agenda 2000 reforms), as well as the growing influence of the WTO on European policy making.

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