CAP reform proposals limited, says NFU

The NFU has welcomed a European report on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform adopted by MEPs, but has cautioned its limit of the largest single farm payments, saying this will inversely affect UK farmers.

The CAP Towards 2020 calls for a simplified policy to increase production sustainability, whereby any ‘greening’ measures must benefit farms and the environment without jeopardising exiting agri-environmental schemes.

NFU Deputy president Meurig Raymond said: “We told MEPs that we need a simplified policy that does not hamper farm productivity or competitiveness and broadly speaking this report is moving in the right direction.

“But while the report has addressed many of our concerns, some questions marks remain. MEPs backed a cap on the largest single farm payments which we believe will have a disproportionate effect on UK farmers and contradicts calls for a modern, efficient farming sector.

“We now need to ensure that any new greening will be voluntary and provide a genuine economic benefit to farmers.”

Details of the proposed EU budget post 2013, which includes CAP, will be published next week. The Commission will publish legislative proposals to CAP in October.