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    NFU criticises Defra ministers over CAP reform plans

    NewsWednesday 26 June 2013
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    The governing body of the NFU has today criticised the ministers at Defra for their lack of engagement with farmers over the latest CAP plans in England. 
     
    The South West region had stated that Owen Paterson, the Secretary of State and David Heath, the Farming Minister, had both refused to listen to the concerns raised by farmers at shows around the country. This led to the warning from the NFU Council. 
     
    The crucial CAP reform negotiations are in their final and most critical stages. The European Parliament and the EU Commission, as well as the Council of Ministers, are all trying to reach a consensus. 
     
    Meurig Raymond, the NFU Deputy President, told the NFU Council that English farmers are set to face a bad deal under Defra’s latest plans. 
     
    Speaking on the NFU official website, he said: “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.
     
    “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.”   
     
    Picture: Ruthanne Reid
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