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Farron welcomes news of flexibility around CAP reform 'greening' measures

May 29, 2012 2:31 PM

TF ruralFollowing the meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers in Brussels last week to discuss the future of the Common Agricultural Policy, Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has welcomed the suggestion that Pillar 2 agri-environment schemes may be recognised under the Pillar One 'greening' requirements.

Prior to the meeting delegations were issued with a 'concept paper' drafted by the Commission, which aimed to address Member State concerns about specific elements of the greening proposals. This included a suggestion that certain environmental activities already carried out by farmers could count towards greening measures.

Tim has raised concerns about the 'greening' proposals on several occasions, as there are continuing fears that the efforts of ensure the 'greening' of farming could potentially be devastating hill farmers who are struggling to keep their businesses afloat under the current conditions. However, this 'concept paper' would be an important step forward that could help farmers already involved in Pillar Two Agri-schemes to qualify for one or more Pillar One requirements.

Commenting Tim said: "It is absolutely vital that EU Agriculture Ministers discuss every option when it comes to CAP reform. The proposals being discussed would show flexibility that would enable farmers to qualify for payments under Pillar One without having to significantly overhaul their farming methods or business.

This would be a much better result for uplands farmers and indeed all UK farmers than we initially expected I will ensure that I continue to push the Government's Farming Minister, Jim Paice, to fight tooth and nail for this flexibility."