breeders demand an increase in CAP aid

breeders demand an increase in CAP aid
breeders demand an increase in CAP aid

Tuesday May 21, a certain concern reigned within the Chamber of Agriculture of Haute-Corse in Vescovato. At 2 p.m., around twenty farmers responded to the call from the Departmental Federation of Agricultural Operators’ Unions of Haute-Corse (FDSEA), in order to find out about the drop in Corsican Bovine Aid during of the year 2024, and to request the revaluation of their subsidies. Indeed, this aid coupled with production emanating from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), distributed according to the capacity of breeders to produce, has been reduced in Corsica. “We do not have the same amount from UGB (Large Livestock Unit), aid per cattle present on the farm as on the continent,” says Joseph Colombani, President of the Chamber of Agriculture of Haute-Corse. The latter denounces inequality in the face of mainland operators. “On the continent, aid is set at 120 euros per cattlehe recalls. In Corsica, aid can go up to 99 euros – with a range established between 55 euros and 99 euros for the increased rates -, but only under certain conditions. In total, 1,000 Corsican farmers would be affected by this drop.

Aid subject to several criteria
To obtain the full aid, cattle must undergo double authentication. Traceability must be installed in the animals’ ears and inside their bodies. But “there is a method of breeding specific to Corsica, with a lot of extensive breeding. The animals are outside”, specifies Joseph Colombani. This method of breeding, common on the island, consists of letting the cattle graze in a natural environment. However, during the so-called “free” breeding period, the numbers of the cattle concerned are not listed. The president of the Chamber of Agriculture of Haute-Corse believes “that it is something penalizing, to receive the full amount of aid”. And for good reason, this breeding system allows farmers to receive assistance of only 55 euros, the minimum amount provided for by the CAP.

Difficult traceability
If this way of raising livestock proves beneficial for the quality of the meat and that of the life of the cattle, it would not, in the eyes of the Common Agricultural Policy, guarantee the traceability of their breed. The farmer specifies that‘”over the generations of cattle, there have been crosses between the Corsican breed, that of Limousin, of Aubrac… We have therefore entered the breed code 39 (number assigned to breed crosses by Légifrance)”. This classification would also be “penalizing”. From a public service point of view, crossings could lead to “creating cash cows”. An eccentric hypothesis for the agricultural representative: “It is common knowledge that we do not produce these cows. In Corsica there are perhaps 30 cows which are used to produce milk.”

“This decision marginalizes us”
​In the eyes of the farmers gathered, this legislation specific to Corsica is “unfair”, and arouses concern. “In fact, this particularity results in a collapse of bovine aid in Corsica, assures Joseph Colombani. There are people who went from 12,000 to 2,000 euros of aid in 2024…” Faced with the difficulties of structuring the beef sector – in terms of wandering, infrastructure, etc. – the President of the FDSEA regrets that “farmers, chambers, unions, who want to develop the sector towards something efficient are not sufficiently solicited to find solutions. Instead of saying that there are problems in the sector, they want to eliminate it This decision marginalizes us.”
If Joseph Colombani admits that the State is “ready to go back” on the measures taken, he specifies that after consultation, all the breeders should “take a decision which could also be the preparation of union action”.

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