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Outdoor pigmen will fight unfair CAP rule

by 5m Editor
7 July 2003, at 12:00am

UK - Pig producers will urge Defra to include outdoor pigs on the CAP reform "negative list".

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THE VOICE OF THE UK PIG INDUSTRY

NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & White-hall, and with pro-cessors, supermarkets, caterers – fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

The idea of the negative list is to protect growers of unsupported crops from unfair competition when the new single farm payment is introduced.

THE PROBLEM

From 2005 arable farmers could move into outdoor pig production with the benefit of a single farm payment "subsidy" of around 3100 an acre.

This would put existing outdoor producers at a disadvantage because they won't receive the single farm payment for land on which they kept pigs during the reference period 2000-2002.

THE SOLUTION

If outdoor pigs are included on the negative list it will mean single farm payment cannot be received on land used for outdoor pigs, and this will prevent newcomers stealing a cost-of-production advantage over existing producers.

STILL TO PLAY FOR

The negative list will operate to protect existing fruit, vegetable and potato growers but it is not yet clear whether outdoor pigs will be included. NPA will be taking up the point with NFU and Defra.

But although inclusion of outdoor pigs on the negative list will be useful, it will not be a complete answer.

As a horticulturist, NFU vice president Michael Paske is championing the cause of growers of unsupported crops. He explains that the negative list is only a part answer; it will protect growers of unsupported crops from unfair competition, but it doesn't help those who may want to switch from unsupported crops to supported crops.

As things stand at present an outdoor pig producer in 2000-2002 who wants to switch from pigs to cereals from 2005, would be around 3100 an acre down on the deal.

Source: National Pig Association - 7th July 2003

5m Editor