“EU agriculture ministers are meeting in Brussels to seek a consensus on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. The aim is a greener, more equal, more sustainable agriculture. EU money often ends up in the hands of big farmers and even with non producers such as banks. This is the tale of one Belgian smallholder,” says euronews reporter Margherita Sforza.
Daniel Dubois is an organic farmer who farms around 200 cattle for milk and meat in southern Belgium. He is one small farmer fighting for a better distribution of EU cash. The reforms propose a cap of 300.00 smaller farmers want it lower:
Daniel Dubois, organic farmer, Belgium:
“The problem is not agriculture, whatever the size, the problem is subsidies are distributed around farmers and not necessarily to the farmers themselves.”
Smaller producers want subsidies to be capped at a maximum of 100.000 euros in direct assistance. Europe says it will also make public who gets the money and how much to avoid distortion. According to the NGO farmsubsidy, which works for transparency in the industry it says organisations such as a bank and foodbanks have
been given over 1 million euros from the CAP in Belgium.
“People are unsure what is actually given to the industry. I think the CAP must be transparent. Other industries have other ways to get money. The agricultural subsidies should go to those that produce.”
From April 11 the reform of the CAP enters the final furlong when talks between the three European institutions begin. Then the battle will really hot up.