Refocus on Role of Farmers as Food Producers

WALES, UK - Impending reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) must be used to refocus on the role of farmers as producers of food.
calendar icon 23 September 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

This was the unambiguous message delivered to Alun Davies AM, the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and European Programmes, by a delegation from NFU Cymru as part of a regular dialogue.

Ed Bailey, President of NFU Cymru, said, "In recent years, food production has been taken for granted and the emphasis has been on raising animal welfare standards, on meeting the highest standards of food safety and on ensuring that farmers have managed their land in an environmentally sensitive way, but the time has now come to refocus attention on food production to meet increasing demand for food and growing concerns about food security."

"Refocusing the CAP on food production merely represents a reorientation of priorities and should in no way compromise the huge strides forward that have been made in terms of animal welfare, food safety and the environment. Productivity and profitability are key drivers in ensuring that the environment continues to be maintained in good heart.

"This is to mitigate failure of the market place and to reward farmers for the goods and services they provide but in the future it has to be delivered with greater simplicity and less bureaucracy attached to it. The Single Application Form exercise this year has been fraught with difficulties and assurances were sought from the Deputy Minister that this would not delay the payment process in December," Mr Bailey said.

NFU Cymru has reiterated its recommendation that the Tir Mynydd Scheme, designed to support the disadvantaged areas of Wales, should be extended beyond 2012, given the uncertainties surrounding CAP reform and potential impact of the ‘greening’ element on Wales’ agri-environment scheme ‘Glastir’.

A number of other issues were discussed to do with sheep electronic identification, the European Community’s dairy package and the working smarter programme aimed at reducing red-tape.

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