EU farmers’ confidence plummets as average incomes fall by 4.3%

Confidence among EU farmers has “plummeted” according to the results of a new Copa and Cogeca survey of 8000 producers across 10 member states.

The newly published survey results coincide with the release of new figures by the EU statistical office Eurostat, showing that EU farm incomes dropped in real terms by 4.3% in 2015.

That average, however, 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.

“The survey shows 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,” said Copa-Cogeca secretary-general, Pekka Pesonen, adding that this “demonstrates 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 the implementation of the CAP, particularly in Germany and the United Kingdom. Farmers in Hungary, Poland and Romania were more positive, however.

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