Defra secretary Liz Truss has called for a reduction in the number of physical inspections associated with checking that farmers comply with the rules of the Basic Payment Scheme.
At a meeting at the Royal Welsh Show, Ms Truss told EU farm commissioner Phil Hogan that there needed to be simpler and fewer farm inspections, as well as an overhaul of greening rules, to reduce the burden of the CAP scheme.
The secretary of state called for simpler inspections to reduce the burden on farmers, including a reduction in the number of inspections to check ecological focus areas (EFAs) and a reduction in the overall number of CAP inspections.
Ms Truss said she would like to see greater use of geotagged photography and satellite imagery to check farmers are meeting requirements.
“Food and farming is a thriving sector in the UK but the potential to further grow this sector is being held back by overly complicated and bureaucratic rules within the Common Agricultural Policy that our farmers have to follow.”
Liz Truss, Defra
The minister also called for a more pragmatic and proportionate approach when it comes to checks and penalties, to reduce the risk of farmers facing severe penalties for minor errors.
She also repeated her calls for the three-crop rule, which Defra believes is ‘ineffective’, to be abandoned.
“Food and farming is a thriving sector in the UK but the potential to further grow this sector is being held back by overly complicated and bureaucratic rules within the Common Agricultural Policy that our farmers have to follow,” said Ms Truss.
“That’s why I am continuing to push the commissioner to look at further ways to simplify the regulations.
“This is part of our commitment to do everything we can to help our farmers grow more, sell more and export more.”
Commissioner Hogan is expected to set out the next set of simplification proposals of the CAP in the autumn.
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