Is the EU running out of food? How can they say they are not?

Graham Charles Lear
4 min readApr 5, 2023

Unreported by the BBC, on Monday (03 Apr 2023) the EU released its latest data on farming — and the figures are alarming. There has been a massive decrease in the number of farms in the EU in the last 15 years, plunging by more than one-third.

I reveal the serious decline in farming in the EU compared to the United Kingdom, and questions why the UK farming lobby represented by the National Farmers Union (NFU) still believes we are better off rejoining the European Union’s empire.

This is unbelievable but nevertheless very true

In just 15 years the number of farms in the EU27 has plunged by 5.1 million

According to the official EU figures released on Monday, in 2020 there were 9.1 million farms in the EU27. This is an estimated 5.1 million fewer farms than in 2005 (a decline of around 36%).

And this is without the loss of the UK’s farms as a result of the UK leaving the EU

The dramatic drop in the number of farms in the EU

  • 2005: 14,195,350
  • 2007 : 13,581,830
  • 2010 : 12,055,390
  • 2013 : 10,650,660
  • 2016 : 10,281,350
  • 2020 : 9,070,930
  • A 5.1 million drop in the number of EU27 farms in 15 years (36%)

[Source: EU Commission’s official statistics agency, Mon 03 Apr 2023.]

How about the UK?

The United Kingdom compares very favourably to the EU

The latest figures from the EU do not include the United Kingdom so I turned to DEFRA — the UK Government’s Department for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs.

The analysis shows that the proportion of land in the UK which is devoted to agricultural use has not changed between 2010 and 2021, at 71%. In 2010, 17,234,104 hectares were classified as “Utilised Agricultural Areas” (UAA). In 2021 the number was 17,226,646.

When it comes to the number of farms, DEFRA’s latest information shows that between 2014 and 2019, the figure actually increased from 212,000 to 219,000.

Food price inflation is higher in the EU than in Brexit Britain

EU’s inflation is higher than in Brexit Britain and was higher every month last year

Another inconvenient truth for pro-EU Rejoiners.

1. Annual inflation figures for January 2023

  • UK : 8.8%
  • EU : 10.0%

[Sources: Office for National Statistics and EU Commission (Eurostat)]

In the report above I have analysed and published the headline numbers on farming. As with all research, there is a lot more detail but the important thing is to focus on the big numbers, given our state broadcaster’s inability to inform the public.

Despite the above, the National Farmers Union has only ever been an enthusiastic member of the Establishment’s opposition to Brexit. I don’t doubt the NFU would have us back in the EU like a shot.

Energy, water, and now food

The EU was warned about its reliance on Russian gas, oil, and coal. It refused to listen. (In particular, the Germans refused to listen.) As a result, it has an energy crisis so severe that Germany is even firing up 150 mothballed coal-fired power stations.

The water shortage in France is now so bad that President Macron has just announced plans to tax water. Yes, you read that correctly. I will be reporting on this at a later date.

Food for thought

And now I have looked at one of the other essentials for life: food. The 36% plunge in the number of EU27 farms in just 15 years cannot be explained away as a blip by the EU Commission. This is serious, not only for the livelihood of those who were employed in agriculture but also for the security of the food supply chain.

History has proved that centrally-managed economies — which is what the EU is rapidly becoming — are disastrous for those unfortunate enough to be under their control. The biggest mass murderer of the 20th century, Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin, proved that along with his successors until the Soviet Union was finally defeated in 1991. If you want to read a good book I recommend reading “Bloodlands” by the historian Timothy Snyder for a chilling account.

Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them, as the saying goes. It seems that those who inhabit the corridors of the EU Commission’s Berlaymont building in Brussels are badly in need of such a history lesson.

Sources: EU Commission | DEFRA | NFU

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Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.