NFU members who want to learn more about the outcome of CAP reform talks and help shape NFU policy are being invited to a series of meetings across Yorkshire and the North East.
Attention now turns to how Defra will implement the new policy and the meetings will help NFU senior CAP adviser Gail Soutar, senior NFU officials and officeholders as they continue to negotiate final terms.
Soutar said: “After 21 months of negotiating, the European decision makers have just about come to a final agreement on the future of the CAP. There are some outstanding issues which will have to be hammered out in the autumn, but by and large the future CAP framework has now been set at the European level, albeit with lots of flexibilities for Defra to choose from.
“Within that framework there are some significant changes to the CAP support and new elements that we want our members to be aware of. We also want to make sure NFU members have the opportunity to shape those changes before they come into force in England from January 1 2015.
“There will be a new basic payment scheme, a new young farmers’ top up scheme, new environmental rules which will unlock a new “greening aid” and a whole raft of optional schemes that Defra could choose to implement. Defra has many policy choices. For example around payment entitlements, whether to set a new minimum claim size, whether England’s three different payment regions should be reviewed, what precisely “greening” will entail at farm level and how to define active farming on land such as heather moorland.
“These are all important questions about how the support system will be set up and administered in the future. There are also political decisions for the Government to take. For example how to divvy up the UK pot of money amongst England and the devolved nations and whether to modulate up to 15 per cent of the funds from pillar one to pillar two. The meetings will also be an opportunity for members to express their concerns and inform NFU policy on these important issues.”
The meetings being held in the NFU North East region are as follows:
Monday, July 22 - 8am at NFU Regional Office, York, and 7.30pm at Rendezvous Hotel, Skipton.
Tuesday, July 23 - 8am at Scotch Corner Hotel, and 7.30pm at Kirkley Hall, Ponteland.
The meetings are open to all NFU members.
To book a place, call NFU Regional Office on 01904 451550.