The new 7-point plan for the beef sector is designed to promote more extensive forms of beef production and help restore consumer confidence in how beef is produced. It involves revision of stocking density limits; headage limits; a reduction in national limits on special beef premiums; reduction in the number of suckler cows eligible for suckler cow premium; adjustment of the premium rights reserve system; an increase in the ceiling for intervention buying (350,000 tonnes to 500,000 tonnes) for 2001 ( for a guide to the terms used see Basic Issues Section).
The EU is attempting to limit production with a view to bringing the EU beef market back into balance. However this is likely to lead to increased levels of direct payments per animal, enabling EU beef farmers to live more easily with depressed prices. Lower prices will result in lower returns for ACP beef exporters.