Disaggregated Impacts of CAP Reforms

Proceedings of an OECD Workshop

image of Disaggregated Impacts of CAP Reforms

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is an important policy for the European Union and accounts for about 40% of the EU budget. Ever since its inception in 1958, the CAP has been regularly reviewed and adjusted to improve its performance and adapt to changing circumstances. At a time when the post-2013 future of the CAP is being discussed and major challenges such as food security and climate change lay ahead, it is important to review the impact of past reforms and to draw lessons for the design of future policies.

While the studies in these proceedings often take account of national and international market effects of agricultural policies, they tend to focus on the impact of policies on farms and at the regional and local levels. Today, the European Union is composed of very diverse regions that are affected very differently by any given farm policy, depending on the structural characteristics of the farms’ and regions’ economies.

This report collects papers presented at the OECD Workshop on Disaggregated Impacts of CAP Reforms, held in Paris in March 2010, which focused on recent reforms. In particular, it examined the implementation of the single payment scheme since 2005 and the transfer of funds between different measures. Special attention was also paid to reforms of the sugar and dairy sectors with respect to the quota system and the restructuring of both these industries. The papers also look at the impact of the new direct payment system on land use, production and income.


European Union dairy policy reform: impact and challenges

Recent Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms have affected dairy policy, including the milk quota system, and increased the market orientation of the sector. A modelling exercise, using the European Dairy Industry Model (EDIM), simulates an initial sharp decline in the EU milk price in response to the decrease in the intervention prices of butter and SMP after 2003, followed by a period of stability and an increase from 2007/08 as the demand for dairy protein products increases over time and EU milk supply is still restricted by quotas. The phasing out of the milk quota following the implementation of the 2009 Health Check is estimated to lead to an increase in milk production and a decrease in the milk price both within and without the European Union. The gap between EU domestic and border prices is expected to continue to narrow. Looking at developments in dairy markets between 2000 and 2007, the study finds that milk prices did not decrease as much as expected because the intervention prices were no longer binding, in particular for skimmed milk powder. The income of dairy farms increased as decline in milk prices was more than compensated by the introduction of dairy premium and higher farm productivity due to the increase in farm size. However, since 2007, incomes of dairy farmers have strongly fluctuated as both milk and feed prices have been highly variable in opposite directions.


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