During a discussion in Berlin earlier this week of the European Commission's (EC) proposals for the mid-term review of the common agricultural policy (CAP), Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler said that changes were needed to restore the CAP's credibility. "We need a fresh start for the sake of the farmer, the consumer and the taxpayer. If we are serious about a policy which promotes quality rather than quantity, which offers farmers incentives not to produce for intervention stocks and not to gear their production to subsidy levels but to what the consumer wants, which frees farmers from the bureaucratic yoke of form-filling and which improves the standing of our farm aid schemes with the general public in the EU and with the WTO, then we have to decouple direct payments from production and make them conditional on compliance with environment, food safety and animal welfare standards."