EU agrees on green-friendly farm reform outline

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has agreed on an outline for a drastic farm reform program that seeks to boost environment-friendly agriculture.

The seven-year program is to kick off next year. It seeks to move away from the subsidy-heavy policies that lead to excessive red tape and are kinder to huge companies than to the small farmers.

Irish Farm Minister Simon Coveney said Wednesday that the negotiators from the member states and the European Parliament "have delivered a policy that I believe secures the sustainable development of the sector up to 2020 and beyond."

The deal still needs to include some financial commitments currently under discussion and the approval of the plenary of the legislature as well as another green light from the 27 member states.

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