Over the course of recent CAP reforms, farmers have had to do more and more to trigger the drawdown of payments. The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is no longer an income supplement to ensure farmers can simply produce affordable safe food. It is now an instrument to implement climate and environmental change on farms in Europe. It appears that between 20% and 30% of payments will be ring-fenced for environmental action in the next deal.

I recently asked a farmer client “what would happen if there were no farmer financial gains from farm subsidies or, worse again, if there were no farm subsidies at all?”