Farm income figures confirm bad situation facing EU farmers

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New figures released by the EU statistical office Eurostat reveal EU farm incomes dropped in real terms by 4.3% in 2015, compared to 2014, confirming the difficult situation hitting EU farmers and agri-cooperatives.

This was also backed up by results from a new survey by Copa and Cogeca which saw confidence plummet amongst farmers in the third quarter of 2015.

According to first estimates by Eurostat, EU farm incomes fell in real terms by 4.3% on average in 2015 but this masks big differences between member states, with drops of as much as 37.6% seen in Germany, Poland (-23.8%), Luxembourg (-20.0%), Denmark (-19.7%), the United Kingdom (-19.3%) and Romania (-19.2%). In some Member States, increases were nevertheless recorded.

In addition, a new Survey drawn up by Copa and Cogeca shows confidence plummeted amongst farmers in the third quarter of 2015 since Spring. The survey was carried out in ten Member States.

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said: “Findings from Copa and Cogeca survey show the loss of confidence amongst farmers was mainly a result of low EU agricultural prices and the ongoing market disruption in many regions and product groups. The findings clearly demonstrate clear scepticism among farmers about EU agricultural policy. Commodity prices have not rebounded and the overall farm income drop has been attenuated by reductions in agricultural labour. In eight Member States, the survey showed that many farmers faced difficulties and were concerned about implementation of the CAP, particularly in Germany and the United Kingdom, whilst farmers in Hungary, Poland and Romania were more positive.”

The survey was carried out between September and November 2015. It is carried out twice a year in Belgium (Flanders), Germany, France, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden and United Kingdom (England and Wales) and over 8.000 were interviewed. The full report is available at Copa and Cogeca websites (Statistics and Economic Analysis).