Skip to comments.Farming subsidies face 'green' reform (UK)
Posted on 01/03/2011 1:15:02 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
In a speech to the Oxford Farming Conference, Mrs Spelman will set out the UKs position on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
....We need a CAP that will help producers and consumers alike move towards a model where the true cost of producing food is included in its price one where the industry no longer relies on subsidies for its commercial viability and recognise the economic imperative of environmental sustainability, she said.
At 55 billion (£48.5 billion), the CAP accounts for 42 percent of the EU budget, making it the largest agricultural aid programme in the world. The annual cost to every citizen is around £95.
In the UK more than £2 billion is distributed to farmers annually.
For some years there has been a slow movement away from paying farmers for what they produce, and towards rewarding them for their stewardship of the countryside.
However reform will be controversial in Europe, especially in the UK, France and Germany, where large farmers stand to lose out if subsidies are cut for food production and acreage.
The UK Government will lobby for a more market-based approach, rather than handouts, in order to encourage more efficient farming.
Mrs Spelman said farmers should also be paid to do things like leaving margins for wildlife, planting hedgerows and digging ponds.
This generation should be the one that reverses the loss of species. A generation which secures a healthy natural world for the future and one which properly values and protects the benefits that nature gives us, she said. .....
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...