Click to contact us or call 02476 353537

A strong CAP for a productive arable sector, says NFU


UK arable farmers must play a leading role in driving the next reform of the CAP after 2013 the NFU said today. The organisation recently launched its policy document on the future of the CAP which champions a strong policy that is focussed on delivering a more competitive and productive farming sector.

Speaking at the start of this years Cereals event, NFU combinable crops board chairman Ian Backhouse set out his view on the future for the arable sector. He said The long-term fundamentals of EU and world grain markets are positive and British growers are well placed to capitalise on long-term trends. But the short term reality is depressed markets, volatile inputs and financial uncertainty. As a progressive grower, I want to get to a place where my business can be much less reliant on CAP support, but faced with these uncertainties a strong CAP, focussed on productive farming remains essential.

We recently set our stall out for the CAP, arguing for a policy that does what it says on the tin: focussed on farmers, common in its funding and mechanisms and a policy determined at EU level. But inevitably the CAP will and must evolve after 2013. Arable farmers have been at the forefront of change since the MacSharry reforms in the early 1990s and its important that cereal growers play a full part in setting the direction of the policy after 2013. I would urge growers when they get home from Cereals to get involved in the online debate launched by the European Commission which is due to close this weekend.

We need a policy that helps farmers succeed in the market place whilst providing some income stability to ensure long-term productive capacity, whilst helping producers whether the storm of volatile markets. Decoupled direct payments are the simplest, most efficient and accessible means of doing this but we need a fairer deal for UK growers that eliminates some of the remaining distortions and anomalies such as national envelopes and the last vestiges of coupled support.

The CAP has to be transparent and show clear benefits to society at large. There is a very compelling case for genuine incentives, such as through agri-environment schemes for farmers, taxpayers and the environment.

But the biggest challenge for the cereals sector is to use the CAP in a way that supports a more competitive and productive industry that is more resilient in the market and can capitalise on long-term opportunities. This means looking intelligently at how we use rural development funds so that they become more accessible to producers. It may also mean looking at how the CAP could support the delivery of research and development.

And it will also mean simplifying the operation of the CAP, by for example reducing the burden of cross-compliance inspections for those producers involved in recognised farm assurance schemes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * great opportunity to promote your business to our dedicated readership of farmers, landowners, estate managers and associated agricultural professionals.
Contact us today on 02476 353537 and let's work together to drive your business forward.