Tag Archives: single farm payment

EU budget negotiations and farmers’ 2013 single farm payment

Uncertainty will continue over the value of 2013 SFP payment entitlements until the end of this year.

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CAP reform implementation consultations begin

EU member state governments have started consultation processes on how to use the flexibility given to member states in the CAP reform political agreementin June.

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CAP reform uncertainty and the market for entitlements

Uncertainty over new direct payment regulations is affect the market for single payment entitlements.

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Production effects of moving to flatter structure of direct payments

Redistributing direct payments between and across Member States will have only marginal effects on EU production, recent studies show.

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Updating the base period for SPS entitlements

Fears that proposal to use 2014 as the basis for new updated entitlements in Commission’s legislative proposal could lead to a land grab that would disrupt land rental markets.

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What is the likely cost of greening Pillar 1?

The Commission estimates that the gross cost of the green measures in Pillar 1 will be at least €5 billion, although the cost to farmers will be lower because reduced market supply will help to raise product prices. Is this the best way of spending €5 billion to maximise the value of the additional environmental benefits produced by farmers?

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The worst case scenario examined

A new report reveals which farms would survive without CAP subsidies and which would fail

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The future of direct payments

A study commissioned by the European Parliament endorses the ‘public money for public goods’ mantra.

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Which member states pay for wasteful farm income support?

The closer that CAP reform negotiations come to the finish line, the more will member states look at their financial bottom line. ‘How much do we pay, how much do we get?’ That question will concern finance ministers and heads of states at least as much as the objectives and instruments the CAP funds are spent on.

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DG Agri study: Don’t be afraid of liberalization

A new study shows that Europeans won’t go hungry without the CAP

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CAP Reform Conversations: Paolo De Castro MEP

Jack Thurston talks to Paolo De Castro MEP, chair of the parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

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German call for reform of CAP payments

The German Council for Sustainable Development has issued a new call for reform of the CAP direct payments system, citing the damage done to the environment by intensive agriculture.

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Does France really want to suspend agri-environmental measures?

The president of the main farmers’ union, the Fedération Nationale des Syndicats d’Exploitants Agricoles (FNSEA) Jean Michel Le Metayer called for “a pause in agri-environmental measures” and the suspension of new measures. The Ministry of agriculture seems to have some sympathy for this position. While it turns out that it is more the GAECs than the MAEs that are at stake, this is illustrative of the French debate.

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The NFU perspective on the future of the CAP

Britain’s National Farmers’ Union is noted for its strategic, long-term view of agricultural issues. Its officials have a sophsiticated, well informed view of developments and it was therefore interesting to read an interview in the latest edition of Farmers Weekly with the NFU’s head of economics and international affairs, Tom Hind. He was at one time acting head of the NFU’s office in Brussels. Not surprisingly, he takes the NFU line that farmers need to continue to receive the single farm payment (SFP) to give them a degree of income stability, especially faced with volatile markets.

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Lessons from the 2009 EU dairy market crisis

The EU dairy market is now recovering from the severe drop in milk prices in 2009. Perhaps the clearest sign of this recovery is the setting of export refunds on dairy products to zero since mid-November, as world market prices for dairy products have strengthened in recent months. It is thus an opportune time to [...]

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The job nobody wanted

Over at the excellent farmpolicy.com Roger Waite, editor of Agra Facts, has posted a thorough account of the appointment of the new EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos. He says that while Romania had sought the powerful position, it was really a case of appointment by default: I tend to feel that Barroso was left with [...]

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A new decade, a new CAP

Five leading European farming and environmental NGOs, who between them boast several million members, have jointly published a blueprint for a new Common Agricultural Policy. In an unusual and very modern step, they have published a draft proposal and opened it for consultation. They will produce a final version in 2010. The proposal, which runs [...]

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First Lisbon Treaty ‘Euro-petition’ takes aim at livestock subsidies

The Lisbon Treaty has been ratified and among it’s political innovations is a “citizens’ petitions” tool. Article 8B says that “Not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States may take the initiative of inviting the European Commission, within the framework of its powers, to submit any appropriate [...]

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The debate on the post-2013 CAP

The debate on the future of the CAP after 2013 has now started following the informal Farm Council in the Czech Republic earlier this month. Those who want to influence the debate have about twelve months before the Commission publishes a Communication (effectively a White Paper) on future policy in the summer/early autumn of next [...]

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How decoupled is the Single Farm Payment?

Three of my Irish colleagues at the Teagasc Rural Economy Research Centre have conducted an interesting simulation to estimate the extent to which farmers treat the Single Farm Payment (SFP) as coupled or decoupled. Using the EU-wide partial equilibrium simulation model AGMEMOD, Peter Howley, Kevin Hanrahan and Trevor Donnellan project Irish production in the cattle [...]

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First results from Brno Informal Agricultural Council

The Czech Minister for Agriculture has issued a press release summarising the discussion at the informal agricultural council in Brno today. The subject was the future shape of a simplified system of direct payments and a more even distribution that would result in a fairer competitive environment on the single market. Even allowing for translation [...]

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Spending money to pay it out

One of the many drawbacks of the CAP is that it costs a lot of money to run which reduces the sums that reach the supposed beneficiaries. It has now emerged in response to a parliamentary question that each claim for the Single Farm Payment (SFP), irrespective of its value costs £742 to process. Junior [...]

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Don’t watch this, take a look at that

You will be forgiven for wondering why things have been a little on the quiet side here at CAPHealthCheck.eu over the past couple of months. For my part, besides some intensive behind-the-scenes work at farmsubsidy.org and and exciting new EU budget transparency project that’s still under wraps, I’ve been blogging more on the EU budget [...]

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10 reasons why the Single Payment Scheme is politically unsustainable (part two)

Last week I posted five reasons why it is hard to justify spending 30 billion euros each year on the Single Payment Scheme. Here are five more reasons.

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10 reasons why the Single Payment Scheme is politically unsustainable

The EU spends around 30 billion euros each year on the single payment scheme, by far the largest of the myriad schemes and programmes that together comprise the 54 billion euro budget of the Common Agriculture Policy. The scheme was first introduced in 2005 but it is hard to see it surviving in its current [...]

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Implications of reforming the basis for SPS payments

A recent paper by Beatriz Velaquez from the European Commission throws light on the consequences of moving towards a flat-rate scheme for SPS payments. Drawing on the Impact Analysis for the CAP Health Check proposals and using the FADN database of farm accounts, she examines three options (a) a flat rate scheme with equal payments [...]

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So who voted for what?

Unanimity, like pregnancy, has a binary quality. A decision can’t be ‘virtually unanimous’. But this is just how French farms minister Michel Barnier described this morning’s final compromise agreement on the health check package. So which of the EU 27 member states were unable to acquiesce in the deal? My sources tell Roger Waite tells [...]

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Podcast: Paulo Casaca MEP on the chaos of Parliament’s farm policy

In the second of today’s podcasts from the European Parliament, Paulo Casaca MEP gives his immediate reaction to a series of votes on the CAP health check that saw many MEPs break ranks from agreed party lines, evidence of the passions that are aroused when the Parliament debates food and farming. He argues that the [...]

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European Parliament defends farm fat cats

If Europe’s wealthiest landowners, from the Duke of Westminster in the UK to Prince Albert of Monaco to the fabulously-named Johannes Adam Ferdinand Alois Josef Maria Marko d’Aviano Pius von und zu Liechtenstein (aka Hans Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein) were having sleepless nights over the future of their six and seven figure annual handouts [...]

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Cross compliance: is the Court of Auditors being gagged?

As Wyn Grant has observed, the Court of Auditors annual report on the 2007 EU budget published on Monday identified a clutch of weaknesses associated with the controls on spending on EU farm policies. The Court observes that “Some 20 percent of payments audited at final beneficiary level and revealed incorrect payments, a limited number [...]

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Average direct payment per hectare (2014) - http://sheet.zoho.com

Moving towards a flat rate farm payment?

It is sometimes said that the Common Agricultural Policy establishes a level playing field across Europe, allowing farmers to take part in the European single market without fears about a plethora of national subsidies distorting prices, giving some a helping hand and holding others back. If only it were true. The fact is that when [...]

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Buckwell expresses doubts about SFP and pillars

Agra Focus has been conducting a series of interviews on EU farm policy and one of the longest and most interesting to date is with Allan Buckwell. He is currently policy director with the (England and Wales) Country and Land Business Association, but is also chair of the policy committee run by the European Landowners [...]

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The great targeting debate

Czech agriculture minister Petr Gandalovic made an curious statement at the informal Agriculture Council meeting held earlier this week in the French Alps. Mr Gandalovic, who will assume the chairmanship of the Council under the Czech EU Presidency in the first half of 2009, told his colleagues: “The more specific you make the policy, the [...]

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A CAP that Delivers for Biodiversity?

The vast majority of expenditure under the CAP continues to be directed to income support and is not explicitly targeted at responding to biodiversity, or other pressing environmental objectives. According to a new IEEP study for the UK Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) the distribution and allocation of CAP funding, and the uses [...]

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Farm support tops 50 billion euros in 2007

With the release yesterday of new figures on EU expenditure in 2007, the Commission has been busy spinning the line that farm subsidies no longer account for the biggest item of Brussels spending. Most news outlets have been swallowing this line without taking a closer look at the figures which show that a full 50 [...]

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What is happening to EU land prices?

The evolution of agricultural land prices and rents can be a good indicator of the effect of agricultural policy, because of the assumption that a significant proportion of the transfers to farmers as a result of such policy are capitalised into land values. Thus, changes in agricultural policy may have implications for land values, and [...]

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US Farm Bill goes to the wire

The US Congress has just 14 days in which to agree on a new farm bill able to secure the approval of the White House, and time is running out. If a farm bill is not passed by March 15th, then the so-called ‘permanent legislation’, the provisions of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 and [...]

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Dutch farmers get most subsidy per hectare

One proposal in the Commission’s health check communication of 20 November 2007 is that the member states which still allocate farm subsidies on the basis of historic entitlements should move to the area average system in which allocations are the same across all hectares in a given geographical region. But it looks as though this [...]

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Commission drops plan to reduce ‘fat cat’ farm subsidies

Top Commission officials have confirmed that in the face of opposition from four member states (Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia and the UK) as well as many farm unions, Mariann Fischer Boel has dropped plans to cut the very largest farm subsidy payments by 45 per cent. The plan, which would have affected an estimated 23,000 [...]

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European Parliament takes aim at CAP direct payments

A new report commissioned by the Budget Committee of the European Parliament makes interesting reading. The report, written by Jorge Núñez Ferrer (a former Commission fonctionnaire) and Eleni A. Kaditi, both of the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels, aims to asses whether the CAP provides ‘added value’. Núñez Ferrer and Kaditi define this [...]

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Farm unions split over payment limits

It should come as no surprise that the EU level farm union COPA-COGECA’s response to the Commission’s communication on the CAP health check is reminiscent of King Canute, trying to hold back the tide. What is very interesting, however, is that in important areas the response contains dissenting voices (or ‘reserves’) expressed by a handful [...]

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Goepel plan: weak, weak, weak

The European Parliament’s agriculture committee published a working paper on the CAP health check at the end of last year. Tamsin Cooper and Martin Farmer at IEEP have already argued that from an environmental perspective it lacks ambition and is internally inconsistent. I have looked in detail at the working paper’s proposals for ‘progressive modulation’ [...]

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European Parliament’s View of the Health Check Holds Little Promise for the Environment

The European Parliament is seeking an outcome to the CAP Health Check that does not compromise the competitiveness of EU farming or diminish the value of farm subsidy receipts. This is the vision presented in a working document drafted by German MEP Lutz Goepel of the Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. The paper [...]

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Cross compliance: at crossed purposes?

The objectives of the present incarnation of the CAP are the subject of intense debate in policy circles. Cross compliance is seen by some as a way to justify the Single Payment Scheme, by aligning the receipt of largely untargeted subsidy payments to the delivery of public goods. To some extent this is true. Farmers [...]

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Health Check proposal on flat-rate Single Payment Scheme misunderstood

Many people are under the impression that the Commission’s Health Check Communication proposes that all Member States should move towards a flat rate regional single payment system. There is a widespread view that the Health Check would require those Member States which opted for the historic basis to begin to move towards a regional system [...]

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CAP direct payments poor value for money

The major weakness of the Commission’s CAP Health Check Communication is its failure to spell out a rationale for maintaining the Single Farm Payment after 2013. Yet another report, this time commissioned by the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control, lambasts the lack of efficient targeting and ensuing excessive cost of the SFP system. Written [...]

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Limited administrative burden of the Single Farm Payment

Economists have long been interested in the costs associated with policies transferring income support to farmers. These costs include not only the resource costs associated with distorting production and consumption choices away from the market optimum (assuming that market prices fully reflect the social value placed on resources and outputs), but also the transactions costs [...]

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Specious arguments against limiting payments to largest farms

Initial media reaction to the Commission’s Health Check proposals has been predictable, with most papers picking up as the lead story the Commission’s proposal to apply a tapering reduction to direct payments to larger farms. The Financial Times story was headlined “Communists and royalty fight farm subsidy cuts.” Much was made of the fact that [...]

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The health check paper: Homeopathy rather than surgery?

The recently leaked Commission Green paper sets the scene for the upcoming health check. What emerges at the moment is a very cautious and minimalist approach, in line with what the Commissioner has been promising for a while. Two things seem striking. The first is the choice to ignore the budget review debate. The second [...]

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Who benefits from farm subsidies: farmers or landowners?

One of the most contentious issues surrounding farm subsidies is how much of what is paid out actually finds its way into the pocket of the farmer, and how much leaks out into rents paid to landlords, prices charged by the companies selling seed, feed, machines, chemical fertilizers, pesticides and other inputs.

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