A high level of subsidies can distort markets and make goods more expensive, for example in Switzerland, the government pays significantly high subsidies to farmers, which has held back productivity and led to high prices of meat in particular. Countries such as New Zealand and Australia have managed to reduce subsidies and ensure the survival of farming. In New Zealand this transition to a subsidy-free farming industry in 1984, did lead to a decrease in 1% of the total number of farmer. But New Zealand has been able to increase its productivity significantly, for example the number of sheep has been reduced from 70 million to 40 million but produce the same amount of sheep meat. The removal of subsidies led to New Zealand farmers cutting costs, increasing profits and improving efficiency, with a greater attention to the demands of the market by farmers. The removal of subsidies could increase exports and overall make the UK farming industry more competitive.