In agriculture, one of the key objectives of the Gatt negotiations is to rein in the corruption of world agricultural markets, particularly cereals markets, through the exporting of subsidised produce. The CAP reforms will themselves have this effect - the Gatt would provide some surety.
The income support provided by the CAP reforms serves to introduce a desirable element of 'decoupling': subsidies are, to an extent, independent of the quantity produced, thereby discouraging the production of ever-increasing amounts of subsidised output. Farmers might thereby be induced to concentrate more on quality than quantity.
Let us be quite clear that the Gatt does not impose environmental or labelling standards. Countries are free to set their own standards to ensure the safety of their food or to protect their environment provided such measures are not being used simply as a non-tariff barrier.
Spare a thought also for farmers in other countries, including the unsubsidised farmers of Australia, many of whose incomes have not just been falling but have also been negative because of the unfair practices of others.
Australian High Commission
30 SeptemberReuse content