CAP REFORM – ENGLISH FARMERS AT DISADVANTAGE AGAIN

The announcement last week that the EU Commission, Council of Ministers and Parliament came to an agreement on the Common Agricultural Policy whilst at first being welcome, it may not indeed be the case for English farmers.

There are a significant number of the details still to be ironed out, including the regulations that have been devolved to member states to finalise.

The Commission will not begin drawing up the implementation rules for the Council Regulation until the finer detail is ironed out during the debate on the multi-annual financial framework which is expected to be completed early next year.

In general it appears that we will no longer have a simple Single Payment Scheme, the existing simple system will be replaced with a new Basic Payment Scheme which is multi layered payment with various top ups and amendments.

This causes real concern due to the fact that we could once again be faced with the issue where Welsh farmers receive significantly higher Single Farm Payment than say their English neighbours and indeed much of Europe will be receiving a higher amount.

Obviously there is much detail to come and this remains a worrying prospect since whilst no farmer can expect in the current world of austerity to receive the same level of Single Payment as they have done to-date, they do expect to be treated as an equal with their fellow farmers in Europe.