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As negotiations continue on reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy, local MP Peter Luff has expressed his concerns about the future of English farmers. This is because the Government is taking a different position in the negotiations from the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales.

Peter said,

“The changes sound very technical, but they could have big implications for Worcestershire farmers.”

Peter Kendall, the President of the NFU, wrote to the Mid Worcestershire MP expressing concerns that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) intends to switch money paid to English farmers from direct payments to rural development measures. The NFU, the Tenant Farmers Association and the County land and Business Association are all worried that Defra wants to give English farmers no choice in how they implement environmental measures on their land in return for the payments. This would close off options available to farmers in other countries of the UK and Europe.

In a letter to David Heath CBE MP, the Minister of State for Food and Farming Peter wrote,

“I do find it worrying just how concerned the NFU, the Tenant Farmers Association and the Country Land and Business Association are. Of course these groups must protect the interests of their members but it does seem that the English farming industry will continue to be disproportionately burdened if Defra goes ahead with its plans to impose on English farmers a sole delivery method for “Greening” under pillar 1 of the reformed CAP.

“I would urge you to look again at the NFU’s concerns and the impact that will have on the industry. I very much hope that I will be able to report back good news to the many farmers and growers in my constituency when Defra announce further decisions on the implementation of the CAP in England.”

Commenting Peter said,

“Farming matters in Mid Worcestershire and I worry about the impact changes to CAP reform could have on farming businesses. I’d like to see big reductions in the cost of the CAP, but they are unlikely in the near future. We must make sure that any changes that do happen don’t put local farmers at disadvantage compared, say, with those in Wales.”


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