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Farmers?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
What do you think about them? Is it right for them to recieve lots of money to help them keep their industry how it has always been. Or should they adapt like every other industry has had to?



sorry, its breif but im intrested to learn stuff too, as a freind and I discussed it briefly today

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: Farmers?
    Originally posted by Renzokuken
    Is it right for them to recieve lots of money to help them keep their industry how it has always been. Or should they adapt like every other industry has had to?

    Yeah I beleive they should have help, most other industries get lots of help so why not them. Especially when they had such a bad time and lots of them almost lost their farms.

    We need to keep british farming going, we dont want to have to import everything.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Other industries weren't subsidised and went to the wall (mining for example). Its quite often a political decision who gets subsidies and who doesn't.
    The WTO talks in Cancun are relevant to this. Western Governments subsidising its own agriculture yet developing countries are not allowed to or can't afford to subsidise their own. This leads to unfair trade, poverty and civil unrest.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    sign i saw during the bse crises in shropshire on the side of a truck ...
    british beef ...safer than sex.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's a tough one this.

    Cos in some cases, having the subsidies actually makes things worse rather than better.

    Found this article if you're interested
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've thought a lot about this one, and am still trying to fully take a stand.

    It would be a lot more logical to "industrialize" farming more to make it more efficient and porfitable by removing most of the financial support and let the "strongest farmers" survive. Or at least I feel that way. Here sheep farmers are killing each other because there is more meat produced than the market can handle, which leads to all of them getting paid nowt and them being one of the poorest people in Iceland. And it seems that the government funding is one of the few reasons so many are still doing this. The situation isn't much better in other kind of farming. If they had to finance this on their own then the market would take care of those problems on it's own.

    But what does make me back out of those views is the fact that "industrialization of farming" would probably mean less quality of life for the animals because the farms would be run like a factory, where low cost, efficiency and profit overrules actual care for the animals. And it might also make it more desireable to pump the animals with drugs to increase growth rate and such. Those are living beings, and it would be a real shame if they would be treated like a piece of machinery.
    I'm however not saying that it would get that bad, but it is my belief that it would increase the probabilities of that happening. At least here in Iceland, chicken farms are resembling factories more and more with hundreds of animals kept in the same room where they get no privacy or a real place to rest, nor a moment's silence. I cannot imagine anything being able to grow up soundly in an environment like that.

    I'd like to see farmers abiding to the laws of the market, but if the cost is the animals' welfare then I would rather have the government support those who are more likely in it for something else than just money. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: Farmers?
    Originally posted by Renzokuken
    What do you think about them? Is it right for them to recieve lots of money to help them keep their industry how it has always been. Or should they adapt like every other industry has had to?



    sorry, its breif but im intrested to learn stuff too, as a freind and I discussed it briefly today

    You mean plant shitty GM fields with no concern to what the long term effects othe environment could be? If this is progression... urgh.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: Farmers?
    Originally posted by Renzokuken
    What do you think about them? Is it right for them to recieve lots of money to help them keep their industry how it has always been. Or should they adapt like every other industry has had to?




    Goods would be cheaper WITHOUT subsidies!!

    Free trade must be fully accepted by the West (that means no hypocritical nonsense from Dubya Bush).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Don't know much about this really, but I think that as long as "we" the public keep demanding cheap food then someone somewhere will have to pay for it because the world doesn't have infinite resources.

    is it right that foods should sell for less than it cost to produce? I think not.

    In my limited view I would see subsidies being more that just dishing out money so we can enjoy cheap food (at the expense of someone else. Why shouldn't we pay a proper price for the things we need.

    I read a book once called the empty harvest - very interesting. all about the link between food, immunity and the planet - I would recommend it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    .
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by girl with sharp teeth
    take away the constraints imposed upon farmers, then you can think about withdrawing subsidies.

    whatever it may have been like previously, british farming produces some of the highest quality goods in the world, and under some of the strictest regulations. people have insisted on this, but they then prefer to buy their meat from abroad, because its so much cheaper (never mind that the animals who produced it tend to suffer much more). british stuff is more expensive because they adhere to the regulations, and are then punished for it.

    The agricultural and farmers bodies need to educate the British public more on the benefits over imported produce. I can't see that removing the constraints would be a good move, I for one am happy to pay more for a higher quality of food, but then this is because I have grown aware of the benefits.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by BlackArab
    I can't see that removing the constraints would be a good move

    Current farmers are restricted on the amount which they can produce. How does this help us?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    First of all, price has become the only issue for way too many consumers, both here and in the US. Do you really think that we are ever going to get good, health food if price is our only goal?

    Secondly, farmers arent strickly restricted as to how much they can produce, well not arables anyway. They are limited by the land size, there is a difference.

    Thirdly, if you want to learn more about farming, check out both the Curry Commision Report and the DEFRA website.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Man Of Kent
    Current farmers are restricted on the amount which they can produce. How does this help us?

    MoK the constraints I refer to are to do with food hygiene and production standards including animal rearing not production quotas.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Man Of Kent
    Current farmers are restricted on the amount which they can produce. How does this help us?

    It does help to avoid the "butter mountains" and lakes of wine (can't remember what the actual phrase was) that caused so many problems in the past.

    It's a really difficult issue to resolve. I don't know what the best course of action is.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by KoolCat
    It does help to avoid the "butter mountains" and lakes of wine (can't remember what the actual phrase was) that caused so many problems in the past.

    That is as much about these same restrictions as anything. The build up of these "mountains" was because the farmers weren't allowed to distribute it, instead having to destroy it.

    If we restrict the amount of production then we restrict the supply. Do that and prices rise.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    .
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes I think all economic support for farmers should be removed. We wouldn't accept it in any other industry so why agriculture? Most of the EU's budget goes on supporting farmers and to be honest they make up less than 10% of the EU workforce (1.2% of the British workforce according to 1990 figures), why should the other 90% of us have to pay for something we get no benefit from? (Ignoring the fact we then have to pay again through higher prices in the supermarkets).

    I also think it's a disgusting way of keeping the Third World in poverty, these people are farmers and could provide us with a lot of food, we in the West would get cheap food, they would get a decent income and everyone's happy. I also don't think it would adversely affect EU farmers, they couldn't compete on price obviously but there is a large amount of national loyalty to farmers (despite BSE, Salmonella, etc) and it would provide a good incentive for farmers to compete on quality so I think EU farmers would be organic and treat their animals better because it would distinguish them from their Third World counterparts.

    So I can't see any drawbacks apart from a few French farmers getting stroppy and I very much hope the WTO outlaws this unfair practice.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i say gradual removal of farm subsidies are the prescription

    our goods are not cheap,as i read in some report when i was younger, we pay for our good 3 times over, in taxes to subsidise them, then we pay the apparantly'cheap' prices for the food, then we pay for the clean up when the effort for cheap production/transportation leads to foot&mouth etc
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Cheers guys.

    My personal belief is that they shouldnt get subsidies. If i remember rightly (which i probably dont) i read something in the guardian which said something about them recieving £32,000 a year?

    Anyway, other industries have had to adapt. The UK is producing more crops and food than it is needing anyway. This wouldnt be a bad thing if it could be given away to any poor countries that needed them, but of course the farmers and that wont give it away for free
    (probably isnt making much sense)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Man Of Kent
    That is as much about these same restrictions as anything. The build up of these "mountains" was because the farmers weren't allowed to distribute it, instead having to destroy it.

    If we restrict the amount of production then we restrict the supply. Do that and prices rise.

    I admit hands up to not knowing enough about this issue.

    Why exactly were they prevented from distributing these goods?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, in comparison with other industries they shouldnt get subsidies, but they are not like other industries are they.

    Say we stop all support and allow total free trade, do you think the quality of our food will increase? No, do you think the condictions under which it is produced will improve? No, quite the opposite.

    Free trade should only be allowed if other countries follow enviromental and health and safety regualtion we have here. Other wise it isnt free trade at all.

    Plus there is the serious issue of what to do with the farm land if we dont want farmers, let it just run wild? Turn it into parks? Well something needs to be done with it and that costs.
    Who knows the land, whos already there with a vested interest in it? Oh right, its the farmers.

    I'm not saying we should just keep paying them in the way we do now, but as the government is already doing we should swap support from Pillar I to II. This means from direct production subsidies towards projects such as the Farm Woodland Scheme, and the Arable Areas Payment Scheme. These pay farmers for looking after the land rather than actualy producing anything.

    This is approved by the WTO as not distorting trade, its better for the enviroment and will help us get healthier better food.
  • JadedJaded back for more Posts: 2,682
    I quite like the idea of encouraging more organic farming, which is more labour intensive with lower yield. It will also decrease the amount of toxins in our environment and our bodies, and if you create a market for that then less 3rd world countries will feel the need to follow the same path we have, with less damage to the environment and less expense. Sustainable development is the way to go IMO.

    Ah, if only things were that simple....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by KoolCat
    Why exactly were they prevented from distributing these goods?

    You know, I can't actually remember. But it was an EU wide issue, and is related to worldwide trade agreements

    I believe that we were producing more than we could consume, therefore we could afford to dump it cheap on the world market. Naturally this didn't please our trading partners...

    At least that's what I can remember, but I'm sure that tere is more to it than that - I suspect that the CAP is in there somewhere and (knowing the EU laws) I wouldn't be surprised if the agreement was in the interestd of the French Farmers!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Cap and butter mountains

    http://quickstart.clari.net/qs_se/webnews/wed/dl/Qeu-farm-cap-history.RfDV_DuQ.html

    It was over-production rather than being forced not to distribute.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for that link BlackArab :)

    I can understand now why Poland's farmers are so worried about joining the EU.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Man Of Kent
    I wouldn't be surprised if the agreement was in the interestd of the French Farmers!
    from link
    the CAP was also an intensely political scheme designed to keep French farmers happy

    *coughs*
    from link
    1980s the EU limited CAP spending and imposed quotas in an attempt to eliminate overproduction.

    This is the limiting on production I was talking about.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I studied the Common Agricultural Policy in economics. Basically what happened before the mid-80s when they started reforming it was that farmers were not restricted on how much they could produce so they obviously produced the maximum.

    Trouble with this was that the CAP depended on a target price for arable goods. With all this extra supply if it had been allowed to be sold the price would have collapsed way below the target price so they only thing the EU could do to stop the farmers selling their produce was to buy it and store it.

    Storing these goods meant that the supply to the open market was reduced and so the price was forced up to the target price and of course the EU had to pay the target price to buy these goods or farmers would just sell it on the open market for capitalise on the shortage of supply.

    Hence it was a catch 22 situation for the EU, they couldn't pay the farmers less than the target price because then supply would increase and the target price would fall. So the EU was buying vast quantities of the stuff and this led to the wine lakes and butter mountains we came to know.

    This was seen as a waste of produce as it would just be put in warehouses and would go off, so in 1992 there were new reforms enacted to stop the waste of produce.

    The 1992 reforms were based on the principle of achieving the target price, the EU said that for the free market to achieve the target price farmers would have to cut production by 15%, so what they did was pay farmers the equivalent of the target price to leave their land alone or as it was called "environmentally conserve" the land. This meant that farmers were being paid to do nothing! Those farmers with large enough sites (ie; the rich ones) used this opportunity to build a golf course or confererence centre on the newly available land and lease out the land so they also gain from being paid rent for the land they aren't using.

    So there you have the ludicrous story of the CAP and this sheer waste is why I think it should be abolished.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by bongbudda
    Yes, in comparison with other industries they shouldnt get subsidies, but they are not like other industries are they.

    Say we stop all support and allow total free trade, do you think the quality of our food will increase? No, do you think the condictions under which it is produced will improve? No, quite the opposite.


    Nonsense.

    Non tariff barriers are simply protectionist methods in another name. If African grown oranges aren't harmful to people in Africa, logically they shouldn't be harmful to people in Europe or the UK.

    Frankly, I couldn't care where my fruit/vegetables came from. If the prices for these goods are low, then that is all that concerns me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    hmm in europe/usa,if poor countries used our methods of production, they would beat us on price thats why farmers are subsidised,but i would like like to see the end of CAP and let our farmers beat the 3worldfarmers on qualitiy of goods etc ie organic and so on..
    that would be fair trade
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Moncrat; What use shall we put to the farm land in the EU then?

    There is also the issue of 'food miles' if we open up trade futher, its not exactly the greatest thing for the enviroment to have all our food flying in.
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