The extent of CAP payments made to farmers in the UK in 2002-3 is revealed in data released under new Freedom of Information legislation.
Among the beneficiaries are the Queen who receives over half a million pounds for her estates at Sandringham and Windsor. Prince Charles received nearly £135,000 for his Duchy of Cornwall estate and just over £90,000 for Home Farm, Highgrove.
The largest sum in direct farm payouts went to Farmcare Ltd., a subsidiary of the Co-operative Group, which banked £2,601,767. Lilburn Estates, farmed by Duncan Davidson, founder of builder Perismmon, received £1.3m and multimillionaire Sir Richard Sutton £1.1m. The Vestey Family Trust received just over £906,000.
Leading dukes are all paid six-figure cheques. The Duke of Westminster, reckoned to be the second richest man in Britain, was paid £448,472 through Grovesnor Farms Ltd.
The Duke of Marlborough, who owns Blenheim Palace, received £511,435 through the Blenheim Farm Partnership. The Duke of Richmond, who is said to be worth £45 million, was paid £456,404 through the Goodwood Estate Company. The Duke of Bedford did rather less well with £365,801, while the Marquess of Cholmondeley received only £306,619 and Sir Richard Fitzherbert had to make do with £245,215.
These sums are dwarfed by the amounts received by large companies in the form of export refunds and other payments. Tate and Lyle led this league with over £127m, but Nestlé UK got just over £11.6m.