5 April 2002

Modulation Nos

MORE than two thirds of farmers oppose an increase of the modulation rate in 2004, according to a new survey.

Interim results from the 2002 ADAS Farmers Voice Survey show farmers are not keen on the idea which was included in the Curry report on the future of farming and food.

Less than a sixth support the phasing out of the production subsidies which is another of the reports main recommendations.

Angus Chalmers, ADAS head of economic and business consultancy, said farmers were rightly concerned about taking such a step if other countries didnt.

"Farmers are right to feel circumspect about unilateral change," he said. &#42

"However, when they see clear evidence that resources will be available to support the implementation of the full package of proposed measures they will have reason to appraise their thinking."

Other findings from the survey are that two out of three farmers want to see assurance schemes rationalised behind the red tractor scheme.

A massive 97% agree that country of origin labelling should be compulsory and 94% want to see EU-wide agreements on raising animal welfare standards.

Mr Chalmers said the results showed the mood was right to make some beneficial changes. "These results send out a clear signal to the whole food chain that there is an opportunity to create positive change," he said.