DEFRA to meet farmers over CAP plans

Farmers in England are being urged to attend a series of workshops to have their say on the government’s CAP consultation.

DEFRA launched a 28-day consultation on how the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should shape the future of farming and the rural economy in England from 2015-2020.

The 109-page document, published last Thursday (31 October), outlines the government’s thinking on how it plans to implement CAP reform in England.

Farmers have just three weeks to respond to the consultation on a range of critical topics, including DEFRA’s plans to modulate 15% of direct payments to rural development schemes.

As part of the consultation process, DEFRA is hosting a number of regional workshops to obtain views from farmers and the wider public.

DEFRA officials will be on hand to provide an update on CAP implementation at the sessions, and then seek answers on the key questions included within the consultation. The output from the workshops will feed in to the CAP consultation.

Robin Milton, chairman of the NFU hill and upland hill farming group, stressed it was vitally important that as many farmers as possible attended the sessions.

“Farmers and landowners only have until 28 November to respond to the consultation, so they should try to attend these workshops and make sure their voices are heard,” he said.

“DEFRA has to have something in place to submit to the EU early in January. The timescale to put something together is fairly short, but we are going to see some major developments.

“Farmers can’t afford to sit back and ignore it – this is desperately important. If they are unable to attend the meetings, they should at least get in touch with their local NFU representatives to put across their views.”

The NFU is encouraging its members to respond to Gail Soutar at by 25 November.

The CAP implementation workshops begin on Monday 11, November and end on Friday 22 November. Full details, including how to register for sessions, are available online

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