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Active Farmer and payment capping should be dropped from CAP reform plan, CLA President tells Westminster summit


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CLA President Harry Cotterell today (Tuesday, 29 November) told the Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum that the European Commission’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform on the definition of “Active Farmer” and on payment capping should be dropped.

He also expressed concern about the central theme of the proposed reform: to “green” the CAP by adding three new sets of environmental actions which all farmers will have to undertake to receive their direct payments.

The CLA President said: “We think Pillar 1 greening needs considerably more thought and discussion to ensure it delivers something of value, does not diminish European agricultural productivity and does not reverse the progress we have made in Britain with our wide-application agri-environment schemes.

“The Commission’s proposals do not yet define the best way forward for the CAP. We accept there will be some redistribution of the funds and we trust the British Government will put its weight behind the UK securing the fair share of core Pillar 2 funds to correctly reflect the scale of our Rural Development efforts.”

Mr Cotterell was addressing the Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum’s keynote seminar on “Reforming the Common Agricultural Policy: implications for UK agriculture and rural areas”.

The CLA believes the UK Government needs to consider how our current agri-environment schemes can be incorporated into any greening of the CAP.

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