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NFU slams inaccuracies of Oxfam report

by 5m Editor
22 January 2004, at 12:00am

UK - The NFU today slammed a damning report put out by Oxfam on farming and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Reform proposals, branding it as inaccurate and one-sided.

The report challenges both reform options proposed by the EU, the historic single farm payment and the area payment, and hinges on a sample of just seven farmers from across the UK.

It also fails to mention that the link between production and subsidy will be broken, so that in future farmers in Europe will not be pushed to produce by the CAP.

Speaking after giving evidence at the EFRA Committee on CAP Reform, NFU President Sir Ben Gill said: “Nowhere within this report is there any recognition of the benefits of the CAP Reform – the most radical changes ever – and the benefits it will bring to farmers, society as a whole and the third world.

“The reforms will bring a more market-focused agriculture industry, vast environmental benefits, a fairer trading system that will break down trade barriers, and potentially less bureaucracy.

“The reform was, of course, a compromise. From Oxfam’s point of view, it didn’t go far enough. Farmers could say the same from their viewpoint.

“The underlying criticism seems to be that it is wrong to spend public money on agriculture when income levels in developing countries are lower than ours. On this basis, the same could be said about any other item of government spending.“

Source: National Farmers Union - 22nd January 2004

5m Editor