Today, I am publishing the consultation on the implementation of CAP reform in England. I am seeking views on various issues relating to:
• direct payments to farmers, • greening of direct payments,• the rate of transfer between the budgets for direct payments (Pillar 1) and Rural Development Programme(Pillar 2), • the focus of the Rural Development Programme, and • other associated issues.
As part of the consultation, I have also published an Impact Assessment for the Rural Development Programme, an evidence paper for CAP reform covering direct payments and greening. These are supported by a scoping report on a Strategic Environmental Assessment for Rural Development in England.
The CAP settlement for the next period will deliver very significant sums of money to English farmers and other CAP recipients. We need to make sure that this money is spent in the most appropriate way. The Rural Development Programme is a major opportunity to invest over seven years in the environment, farming competitiveness and the rural economy and we need to make sure we invest resources wisely and get value for money. The consultation document seeks views on potential options for implementing CAP reform in England. It also outlines the decisions we have already taken.
These documents build on the informal consultation that has taken place over the summer with the farming industry, environmental interest groups and other interested parties. We are seeking as wide a range of views as possible to ensure that we take robust decisions on CAP implementation in England that continue to grow the rural economy and improve the environment.
The consultation runs until 28th November.