I have often come across some anger and resentment towards farmer subsidy payments comments online radio TV etc. on why should farmers get tax payers money for nothing. And it might sound strange but for a lot of years I thought as a farmer myself that maybe we as farmers would be better off not getting anything and just be paid a fair price for the food we produce. We could do without the bureaucracy and red tape that comes from Brussels.
I could understand why people would want to leave the EU and have control of there own affairs and not have some nonsensical rules dictated to from somebody in an office in a foreign country who might never have set foot on a farm and have little idea of how the regulations’ that they are imposing will work in practicality at farm level.
When I think about the reasons for Common Agriculture Policy and payments from Europe and the price of food today the main reason for farm payments seems to me is in order to keep food cheap and to keep people employed. Not so much on farms but in factories supermarkets etc. There is so many employed in the food business today that it must be one of the biggest industries on the planet as its one thing that everyone needs every day and yet so many take it for granted.
Food security is very important for any country in the world. Almost all wars and revolutions throughout our history have been over resources and the most important resource of all since time began has been food. Ireland s landscape is covered with the ruins of old ring forts round towers and castles all designed as a defense from raiding tribes trying to steal food harvests animals and property from each other.
You might ask what has that got to do with today well we are still the same people, governments are still fighting over control of resources like land oil gas etc. and people can put up with a lot whether war poverty homelessness cold but nobody will want to put up with hunger for long which is why in my view the market is being controlled to keep food as cheap and safe as possible.
If the market is not controlled it could lead to food shortages and food riots also the safety of food could be in jeopardy for example there are an awful lot of controls and regulations’ today involved in farming around food hygiene and tractability and controls on almost everything we do. Any breach of those regulations’ will result in sanctions and cuts to farm payments which would have a very big impact on a farmer who is relying on farm payments in order to make a living.
Without the threat of sanctions to payments the only thing to keep farmers in check would be new laws and prosecution through the courts which could be very costly to the state and very hard to prove. If food became scarce due to farmers leaving the industry because of lack of profit and prices went very high due to lack of supply how long would it be before food is sold on the black market.
That practice is already going on in my opinion with the horse meat scandal a few years back when horse meat was found in beef products in tescos. There are also cattle and sheep being stolen from farmers around the country every year which must be ending up somewhere either by falsifying documentation, or on the black market to restaurants or elsewhere with no traceability or controls at all.
When times are hard and there is easy money to be made you will always find unscrupulous people whether farmers, butchers, restaurant owners or officials. If food is too expensive for someone to buy to feed there family then they will buy whatever they can afford and it won’t matter to them where it came from.
It wouldn’t matter if the animal ever had a tag of if it was slaughtered with antibiotics in its system or you probably wouldn’t even know what kind of animal it was. If milk was sold without being pasteurized of water added or traces of antibiotics in it how would anyone know without the proper checks.
Despite my views as a farmer and even though there is a lot of unfairness around regulations’ equality and convergence of farm payments and who profits for the food that we produce we are better off as a society with controls in place.
Farm payments supports farmers to sell food at below the cost of production and can also be tailored to do more environmental good and is an easy way to control everything that a farmer does. It also helps keep food cheap and keeps thousands of people in jobs in factories research labs, warehouses, supermarkets everyone from truck drivers to accountants to civil servants benefit from controls on agriculture.
Most of all cheap food and food security keep the general population happy and the world a safer place to live but then again I could be wrong as I am just a farmer airing his opinion, (food for thought)
Many thanks to you for sharing such an excellent article with us .I completely agree with your registration opinion and I think the farmer’s subsidy should be paid.Because a farmer does not get the right wages for his produce, the people of the upper classes get big capital from it by marketing these questions.And there are many farmers who collect agricultural loans to collect agricultural loans but many times due to natural disasters the agricultural system is ruined and in that case there is no one to compensate the farmer.
I agree all farmers around the world are expected to produce more for less it will probably get to the stage someday when the markets will decide to cost of food. less young people are looking to go farming. The powers at be are always looking to cut the payment the farmers get
Many thanks to you for sharing such an excellent article with us .My father is a farmer .I have often been a bit annoyed and annoyed at the comments about radio subsidies on farmers’ subsidies online .I went to Europe last year and saw why the farmers left the EU. The main reason for payment of farming is to keep food cheap and employ people .Food safety is very important to any country in the world and I think it is the farmers who produce it .Farmers will have to leave the industry due to lack of profit and lack of food and prices will become too high due to lack of supply. Farm payments help farmers sell food below production costs and are more environmentally sound, and an easy way to control what farmers do. By providing subsidies to farmers, much improvement can be made from farming .And from that day on, it became a rage against my farmers subsidies .And I think the government should provide subsidy to the farmers in Bangladesh .
Hope your article benefits the farmers and they will share their new experiences with you and I will pass your article on to my father.
Thank you it seems in the EU that they intend to cut payments again while expecting farmers to do more for the environment while farmers are protesting on the streets of cities because they are going broke trying to feed the worlds growing population. Unfortunately a lot of the public seem to think that it is money for nothing and food just comes from a supermarket.
You hit the nail on the head with your article. People do not understand why farm subsidy payments are necessary and they do take the food and the industry as a whole, for granted, just as you said. Without these subsidies, food security and how we get out food would be in great jeopardy. I remember reading something a few years ago saying that if there was some major catastrophe that greatly disrupted everyday life around the globe, there’s only enough available food from our industry to last 3 days and then complete collapse of the industry after that. Scary to think about! Do you feel climate change today is starting to have a big impact on farming?
Thanks Brian I heard that about 3 days as well, I think climate change is having an impact on everything and farmers are definitely taking more notice of it and also its affecting farming in many ways as we are completely dependent on the weather to be able to produce food without making a loss financially. I think farmers are getting more than their fair share of the blame for causing climate change and not much notice taken of things like air travel, industry and food miles from imported goods etc.