£126m of taxpayers' money spent on EU dairy product export subsidies

According to a new report obtained by The Observer, British-based exporters (which include Nestle and Dairy Crest) have claimed around £126m of taxpayers' money over the past two years for sending surplus butter and milk powder to countries such as Nigeria and Bangladesh.

The data about the subsidies which were provided under the European Common Agricultural Policy. The information was obtained by Jack Thurston of the campaign group farmsubsidy.org, who used Freedom of Information requests that were sent to the UK government's Rural Payments Agency.

The information obtained has revealed that most of the recipients of the cash are large businesses such as Fayrefield Foods, which was able to obtain more than £22m in subsidies from 2004 to 2005. Philpot Dairy Products, the exporting part of Dairy Crest, which owns well-known brands such as Country Life and Clover, also claimed a total of almost £22m. Nestle, whose export of skimmed-milk powder to developing countries has long been controversial, received more than £7m.

Who's creaming off EU subsidies? (The Observer, 21 May 2006)