Almost three quarters of farmers say they could not survive without subsidies, according to a Farmers Weekly poll: Subsidies
How does one wean farmers off their subsidy dependence so that they become more like any other business that relies on returns from the market? No one is suggesting that they should be withdrawn overnight. The official Defra position is to phase out the single farm payment and that is resisted by most other member states.
Part of the solution must to be to ensure that farmers are better able to earn a return from the market through competition policy measures that redress the balance between them and supermarkets. But the politics of that are complicated as supermarkets deliver cheap food to consumers whose budgets are already under pressure.