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Farmers proud of what they do for the countryside

by 5m Editor
22 March 2005, at 12:00am

UK - Tomorrow the Rural Payments Agency will publish details of CAP payments made in England in 2002 and 2003. The information being released relates to a system which has now been abolished and replaced with new non-production based payments.

Farmers proud of what they do for the countryside - UK - Tomorrow the Rural Payments Agency will publish details of CAP payments made in England in 2002 and 2003. The information being released relates to a system which has now been abolished and replaced with new non-production based payments.

NFU President, Tim Bennett, said; “The details of individual farm payment to be released relates to the old pre-CAP reform payments. Now, in 2005, farmers receive support for helping to manage the countryside. All payments from now on are subject to tough environmental conditions. The public get real value for money. Farmers will receive £1.7bn, which equates to only 0.14% of total public spending, in return for managing 75% of land in England.

“I have no problem with greater transparency, although I suspect few of us would like to have details of our businesses and incomes released to the public. Farmers have been providing a great public service for many years, producing quality food and helping to keep food prices very low. In addition, it is farmers who maintain the countryside on behalf of and loved by the British people.

“The ‘subsidy rich lists’ that no doubt will be reproduced by the media do not reflect the reality for many farmers. The average net annual earnings for farmers in the years for this information was only £13,000. The total is a fraction of total public spending of £1,200bn. I think that’s pretty good value.

“I prefer to look to the future rather than going over old figures that add little to the debate. Next week we shall be launching an environmental campaign, which will include a major survey of the public’s view of farming and the environment. It will show that 74% of the public believe farmers should receive public money in return for managing the countryside. That is precisely what we do.”

Source: National Farmers Union - 22nd March 2005

5m Editor