News Release July 2003
For immediate release
 CAP is a failed policy - it has failed farmers, failed consumers and failed the environment
 
farm - the independent voice of farmers, welcomes the change of emphasis from production subsidy to farmers being paid for environmental enhancement; but it must be understood that UK farmers will need continued support in the foreseeable future because UK farmers are operating in a 1st world economy whilst being asked to compete at 3rd world prices.
 
Ugly beggar
The truth is that however you dress it up the CAP is still an ugly beggar and the reform only perpetuates the inequalities of the old CAP through linkage to historic payments.
 
Full decoupling
Full decoupling, the option favoured by DEFRA and the NFU, will benefit large farm businesses but will penalise the traditional family farmer who has made the greatest contribution towards the environment, animal welfare and rural communities - that's why the French want partial decoupling and unlike the UK Government, are prepared to safeguard their family farmers and rural economy. 
 
Cancun
The rush to reform the CAP has more to do with the EU negotiating position at the WTO meeting in Cancun than in creating a viable sustainable farming industry in Europe. The UK Agriculture Minister is willing to sell UK farmers down the river to gain the moral high ground against the US negotiator - but the US don't care about the moral high ground and are happy to continue subsidising their farming industry with $billions of US taxpayers money. 
 
Cut loose to sink or swim
UK farming is being cut loose to sink or swim - if any elements of it survive it will be in spite of the Government's efforts, not because of them. It is ironic that those farmers best placed to deliver the sort of environmental standards that the public is now calling for are the same ones that are going to be hardest hit by these reforms.
 
Expect the next release from DEFRA to say "Could the last farmer to sell up please ensure that they switch off the lights and leave the key at Smith Sq. - Thank you"
 
END
 
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Helen Angell

Membership Systems & Office Manager

Tel: 020 7349 5831

 

farm - the independent voice of farmers