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Thursday, September 29, 2016
Cows worth more than humans under EU agricultural policy'
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¬†The Catholic aid agency CAFOD says in a new report published today that the EU's Common Agriculture Policy is enormously expensive and enormously damaging, especially for millions of third world farmers. In the report, titled Dumping on the Poor, the agency shows how British taxes are destroying livelihoods in countries like Jamaica and South Africa and are acting as a major roadblock to development. CAFOD says CAP hurts poor countries in two ways: it undermines local producers within developing countries by dumping subsidised goods on their local markets, and it reduces the potential for developing country farm exports on the world markets. Ironically, UK dairy farmers have largely failed to benefit from the EU's largesse, which is paid directly to large food processing companies, rather than to the farmers themselves. As debate about the future of CAP heats up post Earth Summit in Johannesburg and prior to December's EU Heads of State Summit in Copenhagen, a MORI poll commissioned for CAFOD shows that less than quarter of the British population believe CAP is good value for money. CAFOD's Trade Analyst Duncan Green says, "It is time to scrap the CAP. The EU's support for dairy farmers amounts to around £11 billion per year, which works out as about £1.40 per day for each cow. Put another way, the average EU cow now receives more than the income of half the world's population. UK taxpayers are unwittingly supporting a system that destroys livelihoods of millions of poor farmers around the developing world, and does little to benefit European farmers." The survey shows that 30 per cent of adults aged 16+ in Great Britain believe the EU is spending too much money supporting its dairy farmers,6 and almost half polled (49%) think world poverty is an important issue for the Government to tackle. In Jamaica, the CAP's dairy regime has had a devastating impact on local farmers. The dumping of EU Skimmed Milk Powder has led to a collapse in local dairy production, while yielding few benefits to Jamaican consumers. Fiona Black, former managing director of the Jamaica Dairy Farmers Federation, said, "All Jamaican dairy farmers are faced with failed businesses because artificially cheap milk powder is replacing fresh milk." CAFOD is campaigning for a cut to the EU's farm subsidies and to support changes at the WTO to protect small farmers in the Third World.
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