Friday, September 24, 2010

Green farming damages Agriculture

Reported on Euractive, but very definately below the fold is a comment by Pekka Pesonen, head of EU farmers' lobby Copa-Cogeca. The article is ostensibly an attack on property ownership (specifically those nasty royals and aristos - where the hell are we? In Peru in the seventies or in Mugabe's Zimbabwe? - But I digress).
Farmers hampered by green goals
Regarding the delivery of environmental "public goods," Pesonen warned that farmers risk being overburdened with additional tasks while Europe opens its markets to third country imports.
"The reality is that European farmers simply cannot compete with the standards that are applied in third countries," he said.
"We have to have a level playing field with regards to what EU citizens expect and what the farmers are required to do," he added.
If future CAP money is redirected to environmental goals, it might simply add to the cost of food production in the EU and further weaken farmers' ability to compete, Pesonen warned.
Pekka also tries to reinvent protectionism for the modern era,
Would you be in favour of community preference?
Yes, we are. But we can't build a fortress around Europe, as we are dependent on international trade.
The absolute current reliance on subsidy in the agricultural sector is made clear,
The simple fact is that currently an average family farming income in the EU is on average about 50% of the income in other economic sectors. And of that 50%, two-thirds comes from support and one third from the market.
Essentially, farming is a nationalised industry. And coves like this Pekka chap want it to remian so, and wants to drive private landowners off the land to boot.

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