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• The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was reformed in 2003, with minor changes in the “Health Check” in 2008. Individual schemes based on high guaranteed prices for farmers were largely abandoned in favour of paying farmers a Single Farm Payment (SFP) based upon the area of the farm. Modulation allowed SFP to be reduced so as to fund the Rural Development Plan. The 2003 reform was based upon an agreement to maintain EU spending on agricultural support until 2013.

• The European Commission published preliminary ideas on the CAP after 2013 in November 2010 and more detailed plans in October 2011.

• The EFRA Select Committee in April 2011 criticised both the Commission’s 2010 proposals and Defra’s handling of the negotiations.

• The EFRA Committee report on Greening the Common Agricultural Policy, June 2012, criticised the Commission proposals.

• Useful websites include the European Commission, The CAP after 2013 and Defra’s Common Agricultural Policy Reform.

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