Unilever chief attacks EU farm policy

 

Anglo-Dutch consumer products group Unilever joined calls for a overhaul of the European Union's agriculture policy by calling it wasteful and harmful to the environment.

Mr Antony Burgmans, chief executive of Unilever's Dutch holding company, said the EU's Common Agricultural Policy promoted overproduction and overdependence on chemicals.

In addition, it frustrated export opportunities of non-EU countries, especially developing nations that urgently need trade to lift themselves out of poverty.

Demands have increased for a sweeping reform of the current EU system of farm subsidies, called Agenda 2000, due to be reviewed this summer, about halfway through its period of operation.