The NFU’s governing body has today criticised Defra ministers over their lack of engagement with farmers over plans for implementing the CAP in England.
The warning from NFU Council came following a resolution put forward by the South West region stating that Secretary of State Owen Paterson and Farming Minister David Heath had refused to listen to the concerns raised by farmers at shows around the country.
Crucial CAP reform negotiations are currently in their final, critical stages, with the European Parliament, Council of Ministers and EU Commission trying to reach a consensus.
NFU Deputy President Meurig Raymond told NFU Council that English farmers are facing a bad deal under Defra’s plans.
“Our members’ feel that they have been let down over these negotiations through Defra ministers’ refusal to listen to them. That’s why NFU Council has sent such a strong message to the Secretary of State on CAP reform,” said Mr Raymond.
“Defra minsters’ plans are likely to include the maximum 15 per cent voluntary modulation. This on top of 10 per cent EU-wide modulation, future financial discipline cuts, which in 2013 will be five per cent and up to two per cent removed from direct payments for a mandatory young farmers scheme, could see English direct payments cut by ‘around 20 per cent under the reformed CAP.
“These cuts will further disadvantage English farmers against their EU counterparts, with the gap that already exists in payments levels set to get even wider.
“It is absolutely vital that we achieve the right deal and that Defra ministers then implement that deal fairly in England.”