The next CAP should take into consideration the future generations to ensure the long-term security of the farming industry, the NFU Next Generation Policy Forum will tell a packed break out session at NFU conference this week.
Forum chairman William Lawrence will outline the forum’s position on CAP and young entrants during the ‘Changing Perceptions for a Career in Farming’ session on Thursday morning. His speech will highlight concerns over the barriers of entry for new entrants into the industry, the need for a Young Entrants Scheme and call for succession planning to become more commonplace as the average age of farmers goes up.
Also speaking will be Chairman of the YFC’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee Chris Bateman, Harper Adams Principle Dr. David Llwellyn and Richard Longthorp, Chairman of the AgriSkills management group.
Forum Chairman William Lawrence will say: “The Next Generation Policy Forum is determined to make sure that future generations of farmers have their voices heard during the CAP negotiations.
“We believe pillar two should be used more effectively encouraging young skilled farmers in the hope that they will be less dependent on public support. To that end The NGPF support the idea of a Young Entrant Scheme (YES).
“And with leaked figures of the new CAP budget showing that UK will see a 22 per cent reduction for rural development, it is crucial to make the most out of the scarce financial resources available. The aim of the scheme is to support viable and profitable businesses that will play a crucial role in the future of UK agriculture.
“But farming needs to help itself too. The current lack of succession planning is a chronic problem that needs urgent attention. We have decided to tackle this complicated issue because farming has an ageing population, and there is a clear need for restructuring of the industry to allow some to retire and others to take up the reins. The individual complexities of each situation mean that there is no one size fits all solution. Nevertheless, we are convinced that succession should be planned in advance but executed through a phased transition.
“We also believe that special advice on retirement and succession as a distinct component within the advisory services under the Rural Development Program would help farmers approaching retirement get the easy and accessible tools to plan their succession.”