HC Deb 26 June 2002 vol 387 cc915-6W
Mrs. Lawrence

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of payments made under the CAP went (a) directly to farmers and (b) to other sectors, with specific reference to (i) the food processing industry and (ii) storage companies, in the most recent year for which statistics are available. [60555]

Helen Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of payments made through the CAP went to(a) farmers, (b) the food processing industry and (c) other sectors in the last year for which figures are available. [62534]

Mr. Morley

[holding answer 17 June 2002]: Payments throughout the EU under the Common Agricultural Policy totalled 40,465 million euro in the budget year ending in October 2000. 25,529 million euro of this was spent on direct subsidies to farmers, 4,176 million euro on rural development (outside objective 1 areas), and 10,654 million euro on market support measures. The remainder was spent on veterinary and phytosanitary measures, and various information programmes.

Almost all of the direct subsidies will have gone to farmers. They will also have received most of the rural development expenditure, although other businesses are eligible for certain programmes. For example, payments under the rural development measures that were implemented in England as the processing and marketing grant scheme are largely received by food processors, although processors of non-food crops are also eligible.

The 10,654 million euro the Community spent on market support aimed to keep EU commodity prices above those prevailing elsewhere. This included the cost of export refunds (5,646 million euro), and of various intervention programmes (5,008 million euro). The cost of providing for public storage of products withheld from the market under these programmes came to some 379 million euro (excluding purchasing or financing costs); the cost of private storage was 574 million euro. Although many of the market support payments will in the first instance have gone to businesses specialising in trading or storage, these programmes will indirectly have improved most farmers' incomes.