Big changes are needed to farm subsidies, but there will always be targeted support to certain sectors and farm types, writes Richard Harvey
It is impossible to disagree with the Food and Land Use Coalition report’s findings ($1m a minute global farm subsidies ‘are destroying the world’, 16 September). Yet it would be wrong to dispense with all agricultural support programmes, particularly in the UK. Big changes are needed, but there will always be targeted support to certain sectors and farm types.
First, we do need to support the small-scale, family-based business structure. This is the only way of sustainable farming in the uplands and less productive land areas. All land use requires management, even woodland. This is not poor resource use; it is supporting public benefit from business centres that would otherwise not be financially viable.