THE EUROPEAN Commission considers that there is still too much hop production in the European Union, despite a five year subsidy programme designed to help growers grub-up or leave their fields fallow until demand increases. As a result, it has asked EU ministers to extend the Euro 12 million scheme for another year; it was to be wound up after the 2002 harvest, but it will now probably survive until next year's crop is gathered in. Brussels claimed that the scheme had led to a reduction of 10 per cent since 1997 in the EU land growing hops, ...

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