Rory meets with Minister for Agriculture

Rory has spoken with Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Jim Paice to discuss the potential impact on Penrith and the Border of the successor to the Rural Development Regulation, following Defra’s recent publication of a discussion paper on the EU Commission’s regulatory proposals for Common Agricultural Policy reform post-2013. Rory believes that the farming community in Penrith and the Border has a unique opportunity to engage in this public consultation, which will close on 5th March 2012 and which can be accessed online here.

This discussion paper invites views from farmers, environmental groups, rural communities, non-governmental organisations and other interested parties on the European Commission’s recently published Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Regulatory proposals for the period 2014 – 2020, which were released on 12 October 2011.

Rory said: “I would like to encourage Penrith and the Border’s farming community – and indeed anyone living in our rural constituency who takes an interest – to engage in this consultation and reflect on how these proposals may impact on rural Cumbria. Some proposals may have significant potential impacts on us, including a proposed replacement of the Single Payment Scheme, revised rules which will guide the next Rural Development Programme in England, and new initiatives such as ‘greening’, ‘capping’ and a dedicated ‘small farmers’ scheme. A reduction in the number and detail of the current Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions and Statutory Management Requirements are also proposed. I hope very much that individual farmers and farming groups from the constituency will take a look at the document and make their views known.”

Negotiations have now commenced between all 27 member states of the European Union to discuss the detail of the regulatory proposals and the European Parliament has started consideration of the proposals. Defra is seeking the views of interested parties to help inform the UK negotiating position, which also takes account of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland interests. It will be some time before the proposals are finalised and for the first time, in relation to CAP reform proposals, agreement between the European Commission and the European Parliament is required under the ‘co-decision’ terms of the Lisbon treaty. The Commission and Council have an ambition to secure agreement by the end of 2012 to allow implementation on 1 January 2014. However, as with all other elements of the proposals, this will form part of the negotiation. Further consultation and assessment of the impact of implementation will be carried out at the appropriate time.

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