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News : EU Economy Last Updated: May 5, 2010 - 11:31:11 AM

Number of EU Common Agricultural Policy millionaires rises 20% in 2009
By Finfacts Team
May 5, 2010 - 9:09:32 AM

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The EU27 includes Belgium (BE), Bulgaria (BG), the Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Germany (DE), Estonia (EE), Ireland (IE), Greece (EL), Spain (ES), France (FR), Italy (IT), Cyprus (CY), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), Luxembourg (LU), Hungary (HU), Malta (MT), the Netherlands (NL), Austria (AT), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Romania (RO), Slovenia (SI), Slovakia (SK), Finland (FI), Sweden (SE) and the United Kingdom (UK).

The number of EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) millionaires - - persons or companies that received at least €1m from the fund - -  increased by at least 20 per cent in 2009 to 1,212. The recipients took in a combined total of €4.9bn

The Farmsubsidy.org, a Danish/UK NGO activist group, said Germany has 268 millionaire recipients, while France has 174 subsidy millionaires, including several banana-producing companies in French overseas territories. France's subsidy millionaires took over €1bn in 2009.

Sugar companies were big beneficiaries of the €55bn CAP budget: In France, three giant sugar companies received the largest payments under the CAP: Tereos €178m, St Louis Sucre €144m, and Cristal Union €57m, while in Spain the top recipient of subsidies was sugar company Azucarera Ebro, €119m and in Germany the world's largest sugar processor and trader Sudzucker was second largest recipient,  €42.9m. Sudzucker's Polish subsidiary received a further €66m.

The UK will only make data available after the general election.

Dairy trading sector companies were also big recipients following the reintroduction of export subsidies, which compensate brokers for selling high-priced European dairy products on world markets

The NGO noted that some EU countries - - Austria, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Portugal and Slovakia - - obfuscated research by publishing the figures in a hard-to-decode format that required special software.

The youngest recipient of CAP funds in Sweden is 14 years old, while two Swedish recipients are listed as 100 years old, but are both dead. An ice-skating club in the Netherlands took €162,444, while an accordion club in Sweden received €59,585.

The net amount paid out under the CAP in Ireland for 2009 was €1,930,994,768, with 137,736 beneficiaries. The average payment for 2009 was €14,019.54 - - Irish database.

434 individuals and companies received more than €100,000 each under the welfare scheme.

Top 10 Irish beneficiaries:

The Irish Dairy Board Co-op, Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2 – €7,928,238;

Commercial Mushrooms PRS Co-Op, Monaghan – €4,771,652;

Bailie Foods Ltd, Bailieboro, Co Cavan – €3,344,459;

Glanbia Ingredients Virginia, Virginia, Co Cavan – €3,175,708;

Abbott Irl, Cootehill, Co Cavan – €1,725,126;

RA Bailey Ltd, Nangor, Dublin 12 – €1,131,479;

Wyeth Nutritionals Ireland, Askeaton, Co Limerick – €1,092,144;

Rosderra Irish Meats Group, Edenderry, Co Offaly – €515,115;

Irish Agricultural Development, Dundalk, Co Louth – €506,453; and

Walter Furlong, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford – €402,252.

US farm subsidies topped $15.4bn last year, according to the Environmental Working Group on Tuesday, which says the payments are too costly and more of the funds should be used to promote green agricultural practices.

About 61 per cent of the aid went to 10 per cent of recipients, with average annual payments approaching $48,000, the EWG said in an update of its federal farm-subsidies database. In all, assistance was distributed to more than 1.27 million individuals or entities, the Washington-based group said in a report.

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