Billions of public funds for big business – the Farmsubsidy database relaunched

The EU hands out more than €50 bn of public funds to the agricultural sector every year. The political side claims to support sustainable farming and family businesses, but the figures show otherwise. The big agricultural sector industries, corporations, the Catholic church and others are among the major beneficiaries, according to a series of fresh investigations published today.

The data behind the investigations are publicly available via the EU member states, according to EU law. However, the information is often difficult to access, analyse and compare across borders.

Today, the website is relaunched with fresh data obtained from national government agencies, compiled and searchable on

The Farmsubsidies data was collected by FragDenStaat, the German transparency non-profit, in collaboration with the Food & Water Network by Arena for Journalism in Europe. The updated data collection was analysed in cooperation with NDR, WDR and Süddeutsche Zeitung as well as CORRECTIV in Germany, Der Standard in Austria, IrpiMedia in Italy, in Luxembourg, Reporters United in Greece, Expresso in Portugal, Follow The Money in the Netherlands and Gazeta Wyborcza in Poland.

Today’s publications provide excellent examples on the multiple opportunities of story leads supported by these public spending data. For example, the data show how the top one percent of all farms in Europe receive more than one third of all the subsidies over the past eight years. The agricultural policy is under increased political attention in times of the climate, biodiversity, and inequality crises.

The data are accessible and searchable on the website as of today. FragDenStaat and Arena along with our funders work towards maintaining the website also in the years to come.

Arena for Journalism in Europe will provide an online seminar and workshop on how to use the data, probably in mid-January. You will meet the data team behind, Stefan Wehrmeyer from FragDenStaat and Simon Wörpel, as well as some of the partner media of today’s publication. They will provide inspiration and a hands-on workshop on how to use the database for journalistic stories. This will be announced via Arena’s information channels – stay tuned!