Earning a Living

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Earning a living?

Probably the wrong thread but hey ho.

Following on from the chateau rubbish with the major, I am watching "back to the country" with welly wearing Kate Humble.

All these poor farmers "getting out of debt" and making yet more money. I'm afraid not many 18 year olds can "change the world" as the programme suggests. These people have a silver spoon stuck in their mouths and average joey is never considered.

I am very anti-Brexit, but the one issue that really grinds is the CAP, sorry the C(R)AP.

Won't go into detail because anybody with any sense will soon réalise that its just a way to give money to the landowners. Laws are so much bent towards these landowners because historically, and to the present, the law is made by these landowners who don't want the average Joey to be above their station.

As an example my brother in UK gets £5,000 free for his land (30 acres) plus ~£2000 for renting it to farmers around him. . NB Brother retired early from the police force (so not an intellectual) and was interested in farming. His current farm was bought from a old couple who had no offspring to pass on the spoon to.

Don't know figures for French neighbors but about 50 cows at average of above £1,000 per cow. And subsidy for larger acreage on top. They can afford to build massive house for son and his family.

Multiply this small situation to the real big boys in the landowning and moneyed set in the UK and France and it makes me think that nothing has really changed from the olden days.


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Re: Earning a living?

Next time you are taking the trolley round Intermache, I suggest you put that massive chip on your shoulder on the cashiers' band and see how much it comes up as on the tills.

Your nice cheap milk - due in part to the CAP - in fact without it many dairy farmers would be bankrupt.
The 3/kg pork - ditto
That baguette that costs next to nothing is due in part to wheat subsidies. Yes international wheat can be cheaper - sometimes. CAP provides a degree of price stability.

In fact many of your food purchases are at stable and often cheap prices curtesy of the CAP.

It is far from perfect and needs thorough reform, but the intentions are good even if the outcomes tend to favour large farms and large area landowners. However the move across the world to demand cheaper and cheaper food means quite simply that efficient (rather than good) husbandry leads to increasing farm size and specialisation.

Neither is good in the long term but the problem is YOU not the CAP. Start being ready to pay real prices for real food and the CAP can be cut back. I was going to say scrapped, but I think we do need to maintain a level of food security and that will require some subsidy.


A European Rahinja.
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Re: Earning a living?

I would not lose too much sleep for some "poor" farmers.



These figures are for Net Profit and expenses deducted do include "standard" labour costs.
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Re: Earning a living?

These figures are for net profit
and do include expenses for
"standard" labour costs.
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Re: Earning a living?

In contrast to the hill farmers of Wales who live a hand to mouth existence, barely scraping a living. In any financial classification they would be classed as on the breadline.
Too thick for a PhD!
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Re: Earning a living?


Hill farms in Wales tend not to be dairy.
In enclosed reference net profit is £23k.
Such farms would also provide jobs for their owners
if they choose to do it themselves.

I do agree that it is probably not too attractive for the younger generation but farms/land will be cheaper.
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Re: Earning a living?


Hopefully this is a fair summary of the C(R)AP.
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Re: Earning a living?

Interesting links Richard, though I have not had a chance to read all of every one of them.

So staying with dairy, the average net profit for a dairy farm is £50k - which sounds quite a lot. However it excludes any payments to the farmer and his family unless it is a registered corporate business (and most aren't). Now dairy farming is a double shift (cows have to be milked morning and evening), 7 day a week, 52 week a year operation. Frequently the spouse will be involved if not physically then as book keeper, procurer of supplies, liaison with the dairy etc. Many dairy farmers have never taken a holiday since starting because the simply cannot. So if just the farmer and his wife their salary if £25k each - less than the national average (and as said for the pleasure of double shift 7 days a week.) If they have another family member who helps out (son/daughter for example) the individual salary drops to £17k. Doesn't sound so good now does it?

Now remember that these are averages, so if there is a farm out there earing £100k net profit, then there are 4 farms earning only £25k - to be split as above between participants. That now begins to sound pretty unpleasant.

And of course if there is a mega-farm earning £200k, that means there are 4 farms earing nothing, nada, zilch. That is probably why in the 3 years to July 2016, 1000 UK dairy farms shut up shop.

As to your last post on the for and against the CAP, I think it is very fair. For me there are two important issues.
1. Environment. The CAP helps in the protection of the environment - it could maybe do more, but at least it helps. The against makes no mention, so hoping the environment will take care of itself. History says it won't - from Mid-west dust bowl of the 1930s to deforestation.
2. Food security. There is indeed a world of cheap food out there. However I would prefer my meat without hormones and chlorine washed (USA and Canada) and as for milk products from China, I will pass on the (more than a) hint of melamine. [Countries chosen because they are expressly mentioned in the against argument.] If you think those sorts of things then OK, your choice.

As for paying for it; yes of course you pay for it. You pay for national defence, why would you not pay for defence of your food?

I would prefer if the CAP favoured smaller farmers more. I certainly wish they did not dump products in the third world, so disadvantaging local farmers. I would like to see more accountability for use of funds, but let not the best be the enemy of the good.


A European Rahinja.
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