*Introduction The European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was established in the EU in the late 1960s. It is aimed to support farmers’ incomes while encouraging them to produce high quality food products to meet consumer demand. The CAP protects EU farmers and agricultural producers from global competition in three ways: import tariffs, export subsidies and direct subsidies to inputs and outputs. Since its introduction in the EU the CAP has gradually evolved and adapted to the changing needs of both agriculture and society as a whole. History of the CAP (1957-1980’s) The main objectives of this policy were as follow: To increase agricultural productivity by promoting technological advancements, ensuring optimum utilisation of assets and by ensuring rational development of agricultural production. To increase the earnings of those in the agricultural community to ensure a fair standard of living for all. To stabilise European food markets. To ensure adequate availability of supplies. To ensure that products are set at a fair price for the consumer. (Fennell, 1979). Along with the five main objectives above the treaty also outlines a number of broader principles aimed at improving economic and social issues in the agricultural community. These principles include ensuring social protection for agricultural wage earners; ensure that rural children have the same opportunities as those elsewhere; to aid those wishing to set up as independent farmer; to facilitate retirement pensions for farmers; to improve rural housing and to improve social and cultural infrastructure in rural areas (Fennell, 1979). Market unity; this principle aims to allow produce to circulate freely among EU member states. To achieve this common organization of markets, common prices, currency stability, and harmonization of administrative, health and sanitary regulations is required. Community preference; the second principle ensures...
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