NFU and CLA to fight ‘unhelpful’ CAP reforms

Farm leaders have pledged to work together to fight the worst aspects of the CAP reform proposals which they have described as unhelpful and disappointing.

In a joint statement the NFU and the CLA said the commission had said it wanted  “smart, sustainable and inclusive growth for European agriculture” but they did not think the proposals would help to meet those objectives.

The two groups said they wanted to see the proposal to take 7% of land out of production significantly reduced and it would be crucial to ensure that there were equivalent greening measures throughout the European Union.

“We want to see a fair allocation of the budget to the UK, in both pillars, so that there is no necessity subsequently to move money between the two pillars – in either direction. 

“Specifically, we don’t support the attempt to allow up to ten per cent modulation. We also need to see the capping proposals that would discriminate against the UK rejected. In terms of reducing complexity, we want to see greening measures which can be easily administered and monitored.”

The organisation said the last major reform of the CAP in 2003 had started with proposals that were generally helpful but unfortunately the UK government implemented them in a way which was unequal for English farmers and hugely over-complicated.

“We, farmers, landowners and government, are still living with the consequences of those mistakes.  This time we are starting with unhelpful proposals.

“The NFU and the CLA, along with our allies in Europe, will do everything possible to improve them and remove some of the worst aspects.

“Ministers have committed to ensuring that English farmers are not disadvantaged this time, and the NFU and CLA will be looking to them to work with us to avoid discrimination against English farmers, remove the excessive complexity in the current proposals and help farmers become more competitive.”

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