Archive Article: 2002/09/06

6 September 2002

DEFRA plans to run down sheep recovery

What do you do when an industry shows signs of recovery from one of the most disastrous periods in its history? Offer its primary producers help to rejuvenate their businesses? Or offer money to reduce its size further below already record low levels?

The answer, if youre DEFRA, is the latter. Its latest scheme to buy sheep quota from less favoured area producers in exchange for reduced stocking rates when the sector is on the upturn is surely one of the most ill conceived yet.

Asking producers to bid for the scheme based on projected incomes over the next five years requires the skills of Mystic Meg. How does DEFRA expect producers to put in realistic bids when it cant produce a guide price?

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