Post Brexit Agriculture

tapzilla2k

Distinguished Member
So what do people want to see ? The UK Government taking on the CAP subsidies to ensure farmers stay afloat while we work out what to do. Personally I think we should be growing more food in the UK and have less reliance on imports. We also need to address the supermarkets not paying proper prices for farmers produce. Which means we'll have to pay a bit more in the shops, but it's something we will have to do to ensure our food security going forward. Given the climate is changing and we simply do not know if our current supply chain from overseas will be robust enough to cope with the changes. This is a complex issue and I'm sure some will be more informed than I.

It's estimated (see BBC Link) that without subsides 90% of Farms would go under and land prices would crash. All the Government has promised to do is pay subsides until 2020 and beyond that they've not said anything else.

DEFRA has done zero planning in the last 6 months by the sounds of things -
Defra: No Brexit farm policy research for six months - Farmers Weekly
Background reading -
Ewing calls for united front on post-Brexit agricultural policy | Press and Journal
After Brexit: What happens next for the UK's farmers? - BBC News
Subscribe to read
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
The real problem is that our food is far too cheap and we have all got used to having cheap food.
What that means is that some of our farms have to be heavily subsidised or they would go under.
 
D

Deleted member 13294

Guest
Our food is not too cheap. We were paying around 8% more than world prices.

And I'm sure those at the bottom of the income scale would not welcome rises in food prices.

Food security is important but so is people being able to afford to eat.
 

tapzilla2k

Distinguished Member
Our food is not too cheap. We were paying around 8% more than world prices.
You have to look at the cost of production vs what the producers are paid by the Supermarkets and others. Dairy Production is a good example - Supermarkets pay below the cost of producing milk and that has forced a lot of dairy farmers out of business. Meaning we will likely see super dairy farms as they have in the US along with importing more milk from France as an example. If we don't get a decent deal with the EU on trade, then we can wave bye bye to cheap milk imports from the EU for a time. I know what I'm talking about as my dad has worked in the dairy industry since the 1980's. Muller bought Dairy Crests milk operations in December 2015 -
Dairy Crest finally closes sale of dairies to Muller

One of the reasons for Dairy Crest pulling out of the market is due to the price of milk being too low, which led Dairy Crest into making significant losses.

And I'm sure those at the bottom of the income scale would not welcome rises in food prices.
Most on the bottom of the income scale buy processed foods, unless they know how to cook and what to buy to stretch a weekly/monthly food budget out.

Food security is important but so is people being able to afford to eat.
Food Security is paramount, there is no point in having cheap food from overseas if the exporting countries suffer from drought or a crop yields go down. Meaning they will likely reduce exports to ensure their own food security is maintained. We are not producing enough of our own food to ensure we have food security in the event of a global crisis be it droughts, war or the commodities markets going into melt down causing food price spikes. We are currently not self sufficient in terms of food production.
UK threat - Global Food Security
 

Pacifico

Distinguished Member
If we don't get a decent deal with the EU on trade, then we can wave bye bye to cheap milk imports from the EU for a time. I know what I'm talking about as my dad has worked in the dairy industry since the 1980's.
In that case it will force the supermarkets to pay more to UK producers and alleviate teh demand for subsidies for UK farmers.

Sounds like win win all around.

Food Security is paramount, there is no point in having cheap food from overseas if the exporting countries suffer from drought or a crop yields go down. Meaning they will likely reduce exports to ensure their own food security is maintained. We are not producing enough of our own food to ensure we have food security in the event of a global crisis be it droughts, war or the commodities markets going into melt down causing food price spikes. We are currently not self sufficient in terms of food production.

we haven't been self sufficient in food since the first half of the 19th century. so I'm not sure what relevance Brexit would have to the issue.
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
The real problem is that our food is far too cheap and we have all got used to having cheap food.
What that means is that some of our farms have to be heavily subsidised or they would go under.

Some food is cheap for sure. A lot of the wrong kind (junk) food especially.

i wouldn't class Fruit and Veg would or half decent meat as cheap though.
 

Toko Black

In Memoriam
In that case it will force the supermarkets to pay more to UK producers and alleviate teh demand for subsidies for UK farmers.

Sounds like win win all around.
Win win, because then the supermarkets pass on the additional costs to the consumers, we all pay more for food, which means more low income families having to get support from the government in terms of increased benefits and a general increase in benefits for the unemployed, raise in pensions etc to cover those increased costs.
That leaves all those families who are just above the limits for receiving help struggling even harder to keep their heads above water .... WIN WIN.
 

rancidpunk

In Memoriam
I think I've heard about the 'fear' of increased food prices. Can't think where though, drowned out by the idealism of getting our country back (with a silent 'at a cost').
 
D

Deleted member 13294

Guest
I think I've heard about the 'fear' of increased food prices. Can't think where though, drowned out by the idealism of getting our country back (with a silent 'at a cost').
Food prices in the EU are 8% higher than world food prices.

Leaving this protectionist market would allow us to source food more cheaply.
 

rancidpunk

In Memoriam
Food prices in the EU are 8% higher than world food prices.

Leaving this protectionist market would allow us to source food more cheaply.
We might be able to source food cheaper, although we obviously need a better lettuce negotiator, but that's far from the only thing that affects food pricing.
Flipside to that though is our own farmers would also be exporting at lower rates too, meaning they will need even greater subsidies than they already receive.
 
D

Deleted member 13294

Guest
So we are back to do we protect farmers from competition or do we allow poor people to eat.

I know which one I prefer.
 

Sonic67

Distinguished Member
Flipside to that though is our own farmers would also be exporting at lower rates too, meaning they will need even greater subsidies than they already receive.
They could just sell to the UK market. If we are going with imports being expensive and exporting being a bad idea, then how about British farmers sell to British customers?
 

rancidpunk

In Memoriam
They could just sell to the UK market. If we are going with imports being expensive and exporting being a bad idea, then how about British farmers sell to British customers?
We could, but we still wouldn't produce enough to not have to import. It also begs the question of at what price. Continue at the same rate, with the same subsidies, and it's stalemate. The consumer will still see a price rise if the pound doesn't recover and inflation continues to rise.
They could sell cheaper, pass on the saving to the consumer, but that would leave them needing extra help in subsidies.

There's so many variables, but a big part of why our farmers wanted to stay in the EU was because the current set up benefits them. I'd like to see our government do the same for them, the money will be there.
To paraphrase a controversial slogan.

A large part of the money we send to the EU every week is used to fund agriculture in the EU. Let's fund our farmers instead.
 

Pacifico

Distinguished Member
Win win, because then the supermarkets pass on the additional costs to the consumers, we all pay more for food, which means more low income families having to get support from the government in terms of increased benefits and a general increase in benefits for the unemployed, raise in pensions etc to cover those increased costs.

why would you expect not to pay farmers what it costs to grow food?
 

Pacifico

Distinguished Member
Flipside to that though is our own farmers would also be exporting at lower rates too, meaning they will need even greater subsidies than they already receive.
No - you have got that 180 degrees out. The Pound has fallen which makes UK produced food cheaper on the world market without affecting Farmers income - in fact it is likely to go up.
 

tapzilla2k

Distinguished Member
In that case it will force the supermarkets to pay more to UK producers and alleviate teh demand for subsidies for UK farmers.
Supermarkets will not pay more than they have to, in order to remain competitive with each other to attract the consumer to spend money. Before you can remove subsides you will have to force the supermarkets into paying more for farmers produce, as the free market won't do it. So the choice really boils down to paying farmers subsidies to offset losses vs forcing the Supermarkets into paying the correct price for milk (and other produce). If we continue with subsides to keep farmers afloat then cheap food or milk is just an illusion as the bill is picked up by the tax payer in the end.

Sounds like win win all around.
1000 dairy farms have closed down since 2013 -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-36764592

My dad would laugh in your face, you've not got a clue about the pressures in the dairy industry.
He asserts that the worst decision made in regards to the dairy industry was the abolishment of the milk marketing board and price controls i.e. farmers and processors were guaranteed a minimum price for milk.

we haven't been self sufficient in food since the first half of the 19th century. so I'm not sure what relevance Brexit would have to the issue.
Food Security is the relevance. If there is another World War, we are not in a good position to secure our food supplies at least in the short term. We'll never be totally self sufficient, but we need to improve on that score and have done for decades.

Food prices in the EU are 8% higher than world food prices
We've had higher food prices than the rest of the EU in the past. I believe Belgium food prices were 8% higher than the EU average in 2016. It's a very complex picture and a lot depends on what the Commodities Markets are doing.

Leaving this protectionist market would allow us to source food more cheaply.
Yes, if we can strike good trade deals on agriculture with other non EU states. Of course we might get a good deal with the US and get flooded with US food products. Mmmm chlorinated chicken.

No - you have got that 180 degrees out. The Pound has fallen which makes UK produced food cheaper on the world market without affecting Farmers income - in fact it is likely to go up.
While Inflation is set to out pace wage growth later in the year, the weakening pound is having a varied effect on the Economy.
 
D

Deleted member 13294

Guest
Food Security is the relevance. If there is another World War, we are not in a good position to secure our food supplies at least in the short term. We'll never be totally self sufficient, but we need to improve on that score and have done for decades.
We will never be self sufficient.

Better to ensure we have a diverse supply than to pursue a policy that impoverishes further those on low incomes.

We've had higher food prices than the rest of the EU in the past. I believe Belgium food prices were 8% higher than the EU average in 2016. It's a very complex picture and a lot depends on what the Commodities Markets are doing.
A lot may depend on the commodities market, but the protectionism of the EU ensures that we always pay more than world market price.

Leaving gives us the opportunity to escape that.

Yes, if we can strike good trade deals on agriculture with other non EU states. Of course we might get a good deal with the US and get flooded with US food products. Mmmm chlorinated chicken.
Or we could get cheap beef, corn and other products that the US is a major producer of.

Or we could source other food on world markets without the EU protectionist tariffs pushing up the prices.

I'd still expect that anything sold here would need to meet our legal requirements on food safety.
 

rancidpunk

In Memoriam
No - you have got that 180 degrees out. The Pound has fallen which makes UK produced food cheaper on the world market without affecting Farmers income - in fact it is likely to go up.
Then you haven't understood that I wasn't talking about that. I'm talking post Brexit when we're no longer bound by CAP. Our farmers will be in a more competitive market for their produce, with no guarantees of even being able to survive if the right deals don't get struck, and/or the government doesn't support them after 2020.
We may very well be able to have our cake and eat it, but the flipside to maybe being able to buy cheaper is that we will likely have to sell cheaper too.
 

Pacifico

Distinguished Member
Supermarkets will not pay more than they have to, in order to remain competitive with each other to attract the consumer to spend money.
If the market price of a pint of milk is £100 then thats what they will sell it for. If they dont sell stuff they go out of business


Good job we are leaving the EU and the CAP then

My dad would laugh in your face, you've not got a clue about the pressures in the dairy industry.
He asserts that the worst decision made in regards to the dairy industry was the abolishment of the milk marketing board and price controls i.e. farmers and processors were guaranteed a minimum price for milk.
I'm sure that Farmers would love price controls - personally I think the consumer benefits more from competition.


Food Security is the relevance. If there is another World War, we are not in a good position to secure our food supplies at least in the short term. We'll never be totally self sufficient, but we need to improve on that score and have done for decades.
we weren't self sufficient in food in WW2 - EU membership certainly hasn't solved that issue


Yes, if we can strike good trade deals on agriculture with other non EU states. Of course we might get a good deal with the US and get flooded with US food products. Mmmm chlorinated chicken.
You dont need a trade deal for cheaper food, just buy in on the world market outside of the EU's external tariff barrier. Also if we end up with US chicken being available it wont be compulsory to buy it.
 

Pacifico

Distinguished Member
Then you haven't understood that I wasn't talking about that. I'm talking post Brexit when we're no longer bound by CAP. Our farmers will be in a more competitive market for their produce, with no guarantees of even being able to survive if the right deals don't get struck, and/or the government doesn't support them after 2020.
We may very well be able to have our cake and eat it, but the flipside to maybe being able to buy cheaper is that we will likely have to sell cheaper too.
Of course if protectionism is decided that is what is in the best interests of the UK I'm sure that it will be retained. The advantage of being outside of the EU is that we can make that determination for ourselves.
 

raduv1

Distinguished Member
If the market price of a pint of milk is £100 then thats what they will sell it for. If they dont sell stuff they go out of business




Good job we are leaving the EU and the CAP then



I'm sure that Farmers would love price controls - personally I think the consumer benefits more from competition.




we weren't self sufficient in food in WW2 - EU membership certainly hasn't solved that issue




You dont need a trade deal for cheaper food, just buy in on the world market outside of the EU's external tariff barrier. Also if we end up with US chicken being available it wont be compulsory to buy it.
You really do spout some utter tripe with no understanding or empathy for the real life real world, life changing impact.
 
Last edited:

rancidpunk

In Memoriam
He did seem to mos(l)ey into the forums after someone was suspended (although the join date was before that, so I'm probably a mile off!)
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Something is up, so I have asked for proof he is in Mexico. If he is, I will eat humble pie.
 

raduv1

Distinguished Member
I think we are all convinced he is a re-reg troll :)
Sorry , wasn't trying to call a fellow member out and what not , don't come here often as I'm more old school AV ( or New ) only . Coming from a country background and still close links to hard working peeps in that industry, well I just find these sort of posts dissapointing on what changes it means in real world terms to many folks future first hand. To discuss it in a throwaway manner such as this , Well to me is very disrepectual of the very hard work involved.

That's about all I have to say on it :).
 

Cliff

Distinguished Member
How many times have we seen French farmers pouring milk all over the roads? Certainly no easy solution, even with subsidies and protectionism.

I'll admit I know little about this subject, but I would like to see more parity between what the farmer is paid and the supermarket selling price.
 
Last edited:

thegeby

Active Member
Doesn't this debate entirely depend on what FTA Liam will conclude with countries outside the EU? We have no idea about the conditions for food trade at this stage.

Unless of course you are a free trade unilateralist. In which case we know agriculture is sc***ed.....
 
Last edited:

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
So what do people want to see ? The UK Government taking on the CAP subsidies to ensure farmers stay afloat while we work out what to do. Personally I think we should be growing more food in the UK and have less reliance on imports. We also need to address the supermarkets not paying proper prices for farmers produce. Which means we'll have to pay a bit more in the shops, but it's something we will have to do to ensure our food security going forward. Given the climate is changing and we simply do not know if our current supply chain from overseas will be robust enough to cope with the changes. This is a complex issue and I'm sure some will be more informed than I.

It's estimated (see BBC Link) that without subsides 90% of Farms would go under and land prices would crash. All the Government has promised to do is pay subsides until 2020 and beyond that they've not said anything else.

DEFRA has done zero planning in the last 6 months by the sounds of things -
Defra: No Brexit farm policy research for six months - Farmers Weekly
Background reading -
Ewing calls for united front on post-Brexit agricultural policy | Press and Journal
After Brexit: What happens next for the UK's farmers? - BBC News
Subscribe to read
Interesting arguments both ways on this one but it is worth noting that if lots of farms do go out of business or have to downscale their operations, this will have a marked effect on the countryside that we know and love.

Personally I believe we should sustain subsidies and accept higher food prices.
 

EarthRod

Distinguished Member
I remember, long before the EU existed, the moans and groans that UK farmers were living well off their losses. According to the media at that time the government subsidies paid out were so good all farmers were living in clover.

Maybe that will be the post-Brexit scenario.
 

Trending threads

Latest news

Amazon Music free tier now available on mobile platforms
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
McIntosh adds C53 and C2700 to its Roon Tested products
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Mission launches flagship ZX speaker range
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
What is Contrast Modulation?
  • By Steve Withers
  • Published
Top Bottom