Theres money in spaghetti for British farmers
BRITISH farmers are making money out of “spaghetti farming” under new rules on agricultural subsidies, according to the European Court of Auditors.
East Anglia has been declared a “non-traditional” area for growing durum wheat – the basic ingredient of Italian pasta.
As a result, East Anglian farmers are sharing in the explosion of European aid for durum wheat which allows growers to receive a higher income from subsidies than they can get from selling their crops.
The Court of Auditors estimates that £3 billion of the European Unions £30bn agriculture budget is lost through fraud.
The auditors claim that aid for producing durum wheat is costing European taxpayers £500m a year.
Claims for producing the crop are increased by farmers exaggeration of the amount of land they have under cultivation – though to be up to 20%.
- Financial Times 18/11/98 page 3
- The Guardian 18/11/98 page 18
- The Daily Telegraph 18/11/98 page 13
- The Herald 18/11/98 page 6