Who gets what from the
Common Agricultural Policy?
16 March 2009
If citizens knew how the EU
spends €55 billion a year on
Would they approve?
6 | | BUSINESS Business & Media |
WHAT IT COSTS THE TAXPAYER TO DESTABILISE DAIRY MARKETS
British export subsidies, by Export subsidy granted, by company, 2004 and 2005
destination country, 2004 and 2005
UAE BANGLADESH £ 44,2
ALGERIA £6,016,605 £3,479,499
MEXICO £3,03 340
JA AICA OMA
£2 296,987 £6,016,872
SUDAN THAILA D
IVO £3,906,970 £6 06,805
VENEZUELA Lakeland Dairies
Eilers & Wheeler
£1 to £4m £4 to £7m £7m+
£0m 5 10 15 20
GRAPHIC: CATH LEVETT PHOTOGRAPH: ALAMY SOURCE: FARMSUBSIDY.COM
Who’s creaming off EU subsidies?
Exports of cheap European dairy products are crushing the livelihoods of developing world farmers, writes Heather Stewart
ritish-based exporters, including cow is one of the most reliable ways of on behalf of the EU, said Britain would
known as the EU ‘butter mountain’
Nestle and Dairy Crest, have lifting yourself out of poverty,’ says like to see them abolished.
(‘wine lakes’ were another manifestation
agreed to Europe
claimed £126m of taxpayers’ Thurston, who is trying to compile a ‘We would prefer that export refunds
of the same problem). But after a barrage
giving up export
money over the past two years for Europe-wide directory of how Cap disappeared as soon as possible; but as
of criticism of this very visible waste,
sending surplus butter and milk powder to subsidies are spent. long as they are there, British farmers are
Brussels switched its attention – and its
2013. Critics say
poor countries such as Nigeria and Sheila Page of the Overseas Develop- entitled to claim them just like all EU
cash – towards exporting the products.
this is no help to
Bangladesh, according to a new report ment Institute says small-scale farmers farmers,’ he said. He added that the gap
Since the EU price is so much higher
obtained exclusively by The Observer. in Bangladesh or Indonesia would prob- between the fixed EU price and the
than the world average, farmers are
out of business.
Export support for British dairy prod- ably not be the beneficiaries if the subsi- world price had narrowed in recent
given a refund for each kilogram of but-
ucts is only a tiny part of the complex dies were removed; but more efficient years, and argued that the amount spent
ter or skimmed-milk powder they
€43bn web of farm subsidies that exporters, such as Argentina and Aus- on export refunds had been ‘withering
export, so that they can sell at something
stretches across the European Union. major destinations for exports are sur- tralia, could win such markets in fair away’.
closer to the market price and avoid
But by anatomising this one subsidy in prising. British firms were handed (unsubsidised) competition. Britain’s small-scale dairy farmers,
making a huge loss on the transaction.
detail, the figures provide a startling pic- £11.8m over the two-year period for ‘If they weren’t getting it from the EU, many of whom have been driven out of
This year the subsidies are €109 (£73) for
ture of how the Common Agricultural sending milk products to Nigeria, for they would be getting it from some- business recently, see little of the benefits
every 100kg of butter exported.
17 per cent of
recipients get 85
per cent of the
That’s 27 websites!
(even though the European Commission
possesses all the data itself)
But when we get
good data we can
do cool stuff
Source: Richard Allen, Power of Information Taskforce