DEFRA minister Jeff Rooker has confirmed his department will “try and do better in next year’s [single farm] payments”.
In an interview with Farming Sunday TV to be broadcast this Sunday (29 October) on Sky digital channel 181 at noon, Lord Rooker apologises for the Single Payment Scheme fiasco but reconfirms farmers will face many more months of turmoil.
“It will be 2008 before we can get a steady state into the system,” he says.
He apologises again for the problems with getting payments to farmers in England. “We are very sorry for what’s happened in the past. We ‘re not in the blame game. There are other inquiries. My main concern has been the present and the future. We can’t change the past.”
And the minister also confirms that ongoing change to the Common Agricultural Policy is inevitable and that the UK will be pushing hard for it. “We need to start thinking about what follows [the last reform].We are in the vanguard for getting change regarding the CAP and to get a more modern system for farm support which is not commodity support.”
Farming Sunday TV also speaks to Berkshire dairy farmer Derrick Davies about his views on the UK dairy industry.
You can catch the full programme at 12 noon on Sunday 29 October, and exclusively online on FWi from Monday 30 October.