Poultry and pig meat are among very few farm commodities to have seen an increase in state support for market prices within some of the world’s largest economies over the past 20 years. That’s according to calculations contained in “Agricultural Policies in OECD Countries: At a Glance,” the 20th edition of a series published every two years by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Its analysis covers the 31 countries from four continents that belong to the organization. Their combined agricultural output was worth around $992.2 billion at farm-gate prices in 2009, it concludes. Support to producers in these OECD countries amounted to an estimated $253 billion, or 22% of aggregate gross farm receipts. Expressed as a percentage of revenues, the level of producer support during the period 2007-09 ranged from under 1% in New Zealand, 4% in Australia and 9% in the U.S. to 47% in Japan, 52% in Korea, 58% in Switzerland and 61% in Norway.


Longer-term trends have been both a reduction of support and an erosion of its past links to the volume output of commodities. Instead, governments are tying their support increasingly to production practices that the producer is required to follow in order to qualify, with an emphasis on broader objectives such as animal welfare.