EU Transparency

Uncovering farm subsidies in Spain: a new dossier published

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Spain is the second biggest recipient of EU farm subsidies after France yet the question of who gets what is rarely discussed. has spent the past six months investigating by obtaining, compiling cleaning and analysing an enormous quantity of data on end beneficiaries of farm subsidies in Spain. It is a work in progress and we are pleased today to publish a dossier that outlines the challenge at hand and some of the early results of our analyses.


The key points include the following:


- In total the data obtained relates to 5 million payments worth more than 18 billion euros, over several years.


- Farm subsidy data in Spain are highly fragmented, inconsistent, poorly presented, contain errors and lack important detail. We believe this is the result of deliberate bureaucratic tactics to thwart transparency and ensure that data are locked up and cannot be subject to analysis, investigation and public scrutiny.


- Despite the problems of accessing data published in massive PDF files (sometimes over 1000 pages long) and inaccessible web-based search tools, we have endeavoured to transform as much as possible of the data contained within them into data files that can be analysed.


- The average amount of farm aid per recipient is 4,982 euros and around three quarters of farm subsidy recipients get less than this.


- Fewer than one per cent of recipients get more than 50,000 euros in aid but together these seven thousand largest farms receive 22 per cent of all expenditure on farm aids in Spain. The top ten per cent of recipients get 61 per cent of expenditure.


- The top five recipients of farm subsidies paid by FEGA, the national paying agency, in 2007 and 2008, are as follows: INDUSTRIAS LACTEAS ASTURIANAS (17,847,081 euros over two years), CORP. ALIMENTARIA PEÑASANTA SA (11,869,7803 euros), GALLETAS SIRO, S.A. (6,400,1874 euros), GRANEROS DE TENERIFE SL (TENEGRAN) (6,018,3645 euros), FRIESLAND FOODS CANARIAS SAU (5,571,613 euros).


- In a special focus on farm subsidies paid in the region of Andalucía, worth 1.6 billion euros in 2007, we reveal that the top recipient of farm subsidies is AZUCARERAS REUNIDAS DE JAEN SA with  14,697,691 euros. A further 41 recipients received more than 1 million euros in 2007.


Download the 16-page dossier here.

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