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Continued support of CFE is vital, says Jim Paice


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It is vital that farmers and growers continue to support the Campaign for the Farmed Environment in light of recent CAP reform proposals, Farming Minister Jim Paice has told the industry.

CFE partners wrote to the Minister during November, highlighting their concerns over the impact proposed CAP ‘greening’ measures would have on the campaign and agri-environment schemes.

In his response, Mr Paice shared the concerns of the partnership but stressed the continued importance of the CFE by saying “continued participation in the campaign by as many farmers as possible is vital at this stage in negotiations” and that “good use of our Environment Stewardship funding, including through participation in the CFE, is fundamental to our goal of persuading others that environmental land management is best achieved through a strong Pillar 2”.

Victoria Hicks, national CFE programme manager, said: “The Minister’s pledge to ensure that farmers can choose to withdraw from an agreement without penalty provides valuable assurance to farmers and advisers in the absence of legal certainty from the European Commission. This is what the CFE partners called for and I welcome Jim Paice’s commitment. I am equally pleased that the Minister so clearly values the campaign and recognises its effective role in helping farmers deliver environmental benefits.

“It is clear from his response that the Minister views a vibrant CFE as an important way for farmers to shape the future CAP. The CFE is our opportunity as an industry to ensure our voice is heard.”

The Minister’s letter can be read in full at


The Minister also states in the letter that he will work with the campaign partnership and Defra stakeholders to ensure any amendments to agri-environment schemes meet a strict criteria including:

That those entering long-term agreements, before clarity is given, will not be disadvantaged;

Continued payment to agri-environment scheme holders for measures that go beyond Pillar 1 requirements;

Maintaining land management practices that need to be in place for a number of years to deliver environmental benefits;

Not adjusting existing agri-environment areas that would require additional land out of production beyond cross compliance or greening requirements;

Delivering effective agri-environment schemes that deliver high-quality environmental goods.

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