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Promoting an Open and Equitable Global Food System

IPCDiscussion Paper

Farm Policy in the US and the EU: The Status of Reform and the Choices Ahead

By David Blandford, Tim Josling, and Jean-Christophe Bureau

September 2011

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The EU is preparing for further reforms to its Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the post-2013 period and the US Congress will be seeking to pass a new Farm Bill in 2012 during a time of increasing budgetary pressures.  Tight government budgets require that policymakers consider carefully policy options to ensure that domestic objectives are properly addressed. The 2012 debates over farm policy on both sides of the Atlantic will be watched closely by trading partners.EU and US policy choices will have implications for global food and agricultural production and trade, for food security and for commodity prices.  This discussion paper examines how various policy approaches for agriculture and biofuels could fulfill the stated and implicit objectives of US and EU farm policy, and how policy instruments are likely to impact international objectives of the US and EU respectively.

IPC Policy Focus:The Future of Direct Payments

September 2011

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The first in a series of IPC Policy Focus briefs on US and EU farm policies is a examination of the future of direct payments. The brief chronicles the adoption of direct payments in the US and EU as a means of phasing out  agricultural market intervention in the form of maintaining high commodity prices, buying up and disposing of surpluses, which had become a drain on government budgets and contributed to trade frictions.

IPC Alert about Direct Payments [PDF]

IPC Policy Focus: What Next for Farm Policy in the U.S. and EU?

September 2011

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The second in a series of IPC Policy Focus briefs on US and EU farm policies, this paper argues that recent record farm incomes throw further doubt on the need for support of farm incomes, which has been the traditional justification for the existence of government farm programs, arguing instead for a better targeted approach to risk management and a renewed focus on research and development to help farmers meet growing global demand and maintain their competitiveness.  

IPC Alert about Farm Policy [PDF]

IPC Policy Focus: Biofuel Policies in the U.S. and EU

September 2011

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The third in a series of IPC Policy Focus briefs on US and EU farm policies, this paper argues that the EU and US should phase out subsidies and tariffs, given concerns about the impact of biofuels production on food prices and that the EU and US are well advised to consider the scientific foundation, justification and trade impact of government mandated sustainability criteria.

IPC Alert about Farm Policy [PDF]

 

IPC Policy Focus: Keeping an Eye on the Ball: The Need to Prioritize US and EU Research and Development Funding for Agriculture

December 2011

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One of the most important global challenges is the need to produce more food from more environmentally friendly techniques, while at the same time halting deforestation and land degradation. This challenge of sustainable food production will not be met without significant investment in agricultural research and development. This Policy Focus points out how funding for agricultural R&D dwarfs in comparison to income support to agricultural producers and argues that although farm groups are well aware of the potential contribution that research and development can make to competitiveness and to future profitability, the protection of resources for R&D tends to be assigned a lower priority than funding for commodity support, since the latter has a more immediate impact on a farmer’s bottom line.

IPC Alert about Research and Development [PDF]


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