The EU is gearing up for an ugly fight over subsidy slashing. New Zealand, on the other hand, scrapped its major farm subsidies way back in 1984. According to this enthusiastic International Herald Tribune report, farmers are much better off for it:
"It was a cold turkey time, and smaller farms with a lot of debt, they really suffered," recalled John Acland, patriarch of the Mount Peel sheep station, now farmed by his family's fifth generation.
"It was very awful for some people. But as a result, New Zealand agriculture is in a much, much better situation today. It's a prime example of what happens when you leave farmers to make their own decisions."