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GOOD NEWS AS MEPS PLACE PRODUCTION AT CAP’S HEART

NFU Scotland has welcomed the European Parliament Agriculture Committee’s vote on the future of CAP, as the approved report puts food production at the Policy’s heart.  NFUS does, however, have reservations about some aspects of the MEPs’ amended text, in particular their support for an upper limit on direct support.

MEPs voted yesterday on a report by German MEP, Albert Dess, which, when voted on in plenary next month, will form the European Parliament’s official response to the EU Commission’s ‘CAP towards 2020’ proposals.  NFUS had concerns about some aspects of the original document, particularly its proposals on ‘greening’, which would have created a direct link between direct payments and Pillar II measures.

NFU Scotland’s President, Nigel Miller said:

“It is encouraging that MEPs have listened to industry calls to keep agricultural production at the heart of the CAP.  They will have a very important role to play in determining the future shape of the CAP now that the European Parliament has powers of co-decision.

“We do have concerns about the decision to resurrect the idea of capping direct payments.  Any caps would be arbitrary and we do not believe there is evidence to show that the last euro of farm support delivers less than the first.

“A common theme from both the EU Commission and the Dess Report is the introduction of a greening element to direct payments.  The thoughts of the European Parliament and the Commission seem much closer now.  It is essential that greening is delivered through simple measures that can be delivered on farms without harming productivity and farm competitiveness; debate around green measures must take account of Pillar I’s role in providing support in a volatile world where food security is an increasing priority.

“The CAP is a greatly complicated Policy, and fine-tuning green measures that are appropriate to and workable in every Member State is a big challenge.  It is encouraging that the EU Commission already recognises the significant and positive environmental benefits being delivered on Scottish farms.  Environmental measures under the new CAP must build on that foundation.

“We shall focus on these major issues before the Parliament votes on the final report next month.”

Ends

Contact Sarah Anderson on 0131 472 4108 for more information

Date Published:

News Article No.: 91/11


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