Letter: EU farm madness rages on

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The Independent Online
Sir: Like you, we welcome reports from Brussels that the Commission is to propose a further reform of the Common Agricultural Policy including, among other things, a sharp cut in support prices for grain.

You do, however, risk misleading your readers by suggesting that there is a direct link between these support prices and market prices. Indeed it is several years since significant quantities of wheat were sold into UK intervention and a more recent phenomenon has been the imposition of export taxes to prevent European cereals prices rising to world levels.

All of which is not to deny the desirability of a market-orientated policy for agriculture which is responsive to genuine consumer demand. As we all know, however, markets can move up as well as down and, depending on the level of world stocks, invariably will.

JOHN MURRAY

Director-General

National Association of British and Irish Millers

London SW1

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