Jacl Thurston talk at e-Democracy Conference

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These slides accompany a talk given by Jack Thurston, co-founder of farmsubsidy.org at the e-Democracy Conference in London on 11 November 2008

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Jacl Thurston talk at e-Democracy Conference

  1. 1. farmsubsidy.org: Who gets what from the Common Agricultural Policy? 11 November 2008 Jack Thurston Co-founder
  2. 2. If citizens knew how the EU spends €55 billion a year on farm subsidies... Would they approve?
  3. 3. Our method Freedom of information Vigorous debate + = + Investigative Better policy reporting
  4. 4. 6 | | BUSINESS Business & Media | 21.05.06 CASH COWS 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 Fayrefield Foods* £22,149,818 Philpot Dairy Products £21,957,002 SAUDI Dale ARABIA Farm* £19,391,504 £2,147,003 INDIA £1,244,914 Nestle UK £7,442,672 JA N APAN UAE BANGLADESH £ 44,2 £1,24 273 ALGERIA £6,016,605 £3,479,499 £9,413,948 TMC Dairies EGYP YPT (NI) £6,421,069 MEXICO £3,03 340 ,031,340 £7,714,200 PH IPPINE PHILIP NES JAMAICA JA AICA £1,7 ,901 ,708,9 £2,296,9 7 £2 296,987 OMA OMAN Hoogwegt £4,660,97 ,660,973 International £6,016,872 SUDAN THAILA D HAILAND IVORY COAST IVO £3,906,970 £6 06,805 £6,706,80 VENEZUELA £5,722,515 722,515 Lakeland Dairies £2,274,752 (NI) £4,863,754 NIGERIA £11,782,308 IND INDONESIA ESIA £2,94 8 £2,947,118 Eilers & Wheeler Sales £4,009,257 Meadow Foods £3,335,750 KEY F Uhrenholt Dairy £3,084,188 *includes subsidiaries £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 B ritish-based exporters, including known as the EU ‘butter mountain’ cow is one of the most reliable ways of on behalf of the EU, said Britain would Nestle and Dairy Crest, have (‘wine lakes’ were another manifestation Peter Mandelson lifting yourself out of poverty,’ says like to see them abolished. claimed £126m of taxpayers’ of the same problem). But after a barrage agreed to Europe Thurston, who is trying to compile a ‘We would prefer that export refunds money over the past two years for of criticism of this very visible waste, giving up export Europe-wide directory of how Cap disappeared as soon as possible; but as sending surplus butter and milk powder to Brussels switched its attention – and its subsidies by subsidies are spent. long as they are there, British farmers are poor countries such as Nigeria and cash – towards exporting the products. 2013. Critics say Sheila Page of the Overseas Develop- entitled to claim them just like all EU Bangladesh, according to a new report Since the EU price is so much higher this is no help to ment Institute says small-scale farmers farmers,’ he said. He added that the gap obtained exclusively by The Observer. than the world average, farmers are farmers driven in Bangladesh or Indonesia would prob- between the fixed EU price and the Export support for British dairy prod- given a refund for each kilogram of but- out of business. ably not be the beneficiaries if the subsi- world price had narrowed in recent ucts is only a tiny part of the complex ter or skimmed-milk powder they dies were removed; but more efficient years, and argued that the amount spent €43bn web of farm subsidies that export, so that they can sell at something exporters, such as Argentina and Aus- on export refunds had been ‘withering stretches across the European Union. closer to the market price and avoid major destinations for exports are sur- tralia, could win such markets in fair away’. But by anatomising this one subsidy in making a huge loss on the transaction. prising. British firms were handed (unsubsidised) competition. Britain’s small-scale dairy farmers, detail, the figures provide a startling pic- This year the subsidies are €109 (£73) for £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 ture of how the Common Agricultural every 100kg of butter exported. sending milk products to Nigeria, for they would be getting it from some- business recently, see little of the benefits
  5. 5. Poland: Top 10 recipients, 2006 & 2007 Recipient name Location Amount € Spółdzielcza Agrofirma Witkowo Witkowo Pierwsze 4 255 935 Top Farms Głubczyce Spółka Z.O.O Głubczyce 4 064 372 Top Farms Wielkopolska Sp. Z O. O. Piotrowo Pierwsze 3 991 238 Kombinat Rolny Kietrz Sp.Zo.O. Kietrz 3 814 261 Poldanor S.A. Przechlewo 3 798 350 Kom-Rol Kobylniki Spółka Z O.O. Kobylniki 2 221 563 Agro - Skandawa Spółka Z Ograniczoną Aptynty Odpowiedzialnością Agro - Skandawa 2 084 845 Sp. Z O.O. Z O.O. Rolnyvik Sp. Barciany 1 922 988 Polska Hodowla I Obrót Zwierzętami Szymankowo Sp. Z O.O. Szymankowo 1 808 175 Agri Plus Spółka Akcyjna Konarzewo 1 558 059
  6. 6. 17 per cent of recipients get 85 per cent of the money
  7. 7. Why? “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath.” Matthew 13:12
  8. 8. European Transparency Initiative
  9. 9. ✔ Name ✔Municipality ✔ Amount
  10. 10. ✘ Business ID ✘ Geodata ✘ Schemes
  11. 11. That’s 27 websites! (even though the European Commission possesses all the data itself)
  12. 12. Government
  13. 13. a plea for data standards
  14. 14. What’s next ? Transparency in the food chain?
  15. 15. www.howstuffismade.org
  16. 16. “a visual encyclopedia that documents the manufacturing processes, labor conditions and environmental impacts involved in the production of contemporary products”
  17. 17. Transparency ? Media Technology
  18. 18. jack@farmsubsidy.org

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