27 Jun 2013

EU subsidies to big farms to be cut

10:04 am on 27 June 2013

European Union negotiators have agreed a package of reforms to agricultural subsidies that will see big farms lose up to 30% of their payment.

Common Agricultural Policy and rural development payments account for nearly 40% of the EU's long-term budget.

The plan is to spend about 50 billion euros (£42 billion) annually on agriculture in 2014-2020.

Under a deal reached on Wednesday, some of the money withheld from big industrial farms will be redistributed to smaller farms, with an emphasis on those that use eco-friendly methods.

The deal still has to be approved by European governments and the European parliament.

Negotiators also agreed to end EU sugar production quotas which have distorted the market for years, and created artificial shortages.