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Big farms hit in EU agriculture re-vamp

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Big farms hit in EU agriculture re-vamp

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Europe’s large farmers have reaped a poor harvest from an agriculture re-vamp agreed by EU ministers in overnight talks on Wednesday. Subsidies from big farms are to be diverted to countryside development schemes as part of the most extensive overhaul of the sector in five years.

French Agriculture Minister Michel Barnier said the member states had worked for more than a year to refine an agreement on changing the Common Agricultural Policy. He said they had to work within a very precise legal and financial framework to modify changes first introduced in 2003.

The Common Agricultural Policy has long been one of the main issues the EU has found difficulty in reaching agreement on. An EU official said the deal did not have the unanimous backing of all 27 member states.