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  • Ernst Max Nielsen
    Max has worked 20+ years with TT as owner, manager, director and /or board member in both small and large companies, comprising TT consulting, high-tech startups, international groups – in USA, Russia, UK, Belgium, Hungary and his native Denmark. Max operates as a business angel investor.

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John Harpur

Commentators on agri policy in the EU seem to constantly mis the fact that that pigs, chickens and almost all horticulture is oustide the Common Agricultural Policy and therefore both unsubsidised and traded at world prices. CAP imposes an artificial market on farmers in dairy, sheep, beef, etc. It has also contriubted to land inflation and stock value inflation. The net effect of these distortions has been gradaully coming to light over th past five years. The economic return from CAP enterprises no longer returns a sufficent surplus that would be defined as a reasonable 'wage' (based on asset value). People outside agriculture, in the braodest sense, are unawre that CAP has proven to be the biggest counter innvoation measure introduced by the Commission. Why? Historically, subsidies were not tied to business plans but to gross hectarage and stocking density. Simply put, more land and more qualifying animals attracted more subsidies. The decoupling of subventions from business planning (with measured inputs, outputs and expected returns, etc) has severely damaged European farming's competitiveness. A classic aexample of where an innotive agri-industrial policy become a deadhand. This point goes right to the core of the nebulousness of most innovation thinking. No one has a copy of tomorrow's newspapers.

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