I have been spurred into action over the SW Emergency Fund againand I should be grateful for a word of advice about the "state aid rules" which are being quoted as the reason why practically no farm based business has received anything from the Fund.
When the 'Business Link' consultant's recommendation for us to receive aid was rejected we were told that we were not eligible for the Fund because dairy products production is specifically excluded from the scheme as a result of European State Aid regulations. But to my surprise, I have recently found that a farm based icecream maker has received a grant from the Fund. On inquiring, I have been told by a member of the Business Link staff that:
" With reference to the Ice cream maker, I have confirmed that the difference between yourselves and the Ice cream maker is that they do not use their own milk to make the ice cream but buy it in from else where. This then makes them eligible for the Grant. You of course use your own supplies of milk to make the cheese which makes you ineligible. A really stupid ruling."
I have looked again at what I can find of the Treaty which deals with state aid and the 'Annex' which is referred to by Article 38 [or subsequently 32]. This has a list of "Chapters" with "Descriptions of products" corresponding. Do these headings relate to what one would normally understand to be 'chapters'; which enlarge on the description? - and do you know if there is any further definition of what is meant by, for example, "Dairy produce; birds eggs; natural honey"
Having failed to achieve any clarification from the RDA which I was told was advising Business Link I turn to you for rescue!
(part of a letter to Dr North)