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taking away the area payment, let's call it a welfare payment, means that a lot of farms will not be able to make ends meet. This is because we have a very dysfunctional food economy in the UK. Most of the "profit" in the system doesn't go to farmers, except the biggest ones 3/15
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The Dysons can turn a profit because they operate at a massive scale and have invested in the latest tech. These advantages cannot apply to a 300 acre mixed farm. Changing the system to a "public £ for public goods" approach, redistributes the support in a different way. 4/15
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In that the public goods £ naturally flows to the farms with the most public goods, or the most potential to improve public goods provision. But it only pays for the public goods, while the farmer is expected to derive a living from selling the food they produce. 5/15
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But this has increasingly been a problem area for farmers, as the big retailers and big food industry players have come to dominate the sale of food to the public (same inside the industry where crops are grown & sold to feed animals). Farmers see hardly any of the "profit". 6/15
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In order for the PMPG approach to work (without paying enormous amounts for public goods) farmers need to see more income from the sale of their products. But of course the Big 4 retailers + the big food industry players, aren't going to give away their huge profits are they 7/15
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These big food players have very strong connections to Govt to make sure they're protected. Impasse. Farmers push Govt to create a PMPG system which doesn't cost too much to deliver & doesn't affect how much they produce. The Nature sector pulls in the opposite direction. 8/15
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There's also a strong cultural resistance within Whitehall to radical change; & thinking/systems that have been used for decades under the old CAP are hard to shift. Even if Defra was ready for a big change, did anyone really expect the RPA to shed its CAP clothes overnight? 9/15
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To add to the complexity, there's an existential crisis, here & now - the nature/climate crisis. That means we have to do everything differently, including what we eat. This hasn't really sunk in to the farming sector. Then again it hasn't sunk in to wider society either. 10/15
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A shift to eating much less meat, more fruit & veg, is inevitable. Yet this debate about farm support isn't even addressing it. This cultural shift has to happen and quick. There's still a massive difference between the sustainable intensification folk & the agroecologists 11/15
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Don’t disagree with this statement. But in Spain there is nothing sustainable or good for the environment in their mass production of avocados, salad foods, olives & citrus fruits. Much is long term unsustainable monoculture, lowering water tables with high CO2. Thoughts!?
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Replying to @Norfolkbirding
if you read further down you'll see I make the point about us needing to grow far more of our own fruit & veg.

Sep 29, 2022 · 6:25 AM UTC

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Replying to @MilesKing10
Thanks saw that, though it’s hard to see how the volumes required are going to be met by UK, especially outside of our short growing periods. Also how many vegetarians will now give up winter salads, avocados & olives!?
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We used to produce far more of our own F&G.
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