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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Aux céréaliers le jackpot, aux éleveurs la facture

by Gérard Le Puill

France: Cereal Growers Hit the Jackpot, Stockbreeders Foot the Bill

Translated Sunday 30 December 2007, by Jonathan Pierrel

Agricultural income. In 2007 the poor paid for the rich.

The publication of the average agricultural income for 2007 creates an illustration of the consequences of the absurd Common Agricultural Policies (CAP) reform of 2003. Farmers’ income supposedly increased by 12% in the year of 2007. But the income of cereal growers, who are also producer of oleaginous plants, rose by …98%. In 2007, they benefited from global speculation while direct payment rights from the 2003 reform granted the greatest subsidies to the biggest cereal growers who are settled on the most fertile land.

It is the complete opposite for other farmers. Dairy farmers’ income decreased by 4%, the rise in milk prices occurring only in October. Cattle producers’ dropped by 23%; shepherd’s by 28%. Fruit producers’ income went down by 35% because of a gloomy summer and mass marketing’s pressure on prices. Market gardeners, victims of weather conditions and distributors’ predatory behaviour, see their income decreasing by 55%. Meat producers who have to buy fodder suffered from a 59% loss in their income in 2007. They pay the high price of the cereal bill without being able to pass on their increased costs to slaughterhouses, also under the pressure of the distributors. Finally, wine producers’ income increased by 21% for AOC wines and by 12% for other wines. But those increases occur after a decrease over the last three years.

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