‘Slippers’ and greening top CAP agenda

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TALKS continue today on the reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy.

Many headline issues were agreed at the March Agricultural Council, but the details of several major reforms remain to be thrashed out. These include the definition of an “active” farmer, in a bid to get rid of “slipper” farmers who get financial support despite no longer being in the industry.

And more flesh will be put on the bones of “greening” the next CAP. A similar level of detail on the move to a single flat-rate payment across all member states has to be agreed.

Some 34 meetings between EU parliament, council and commission are scheduled to reach a deal before the Irish presidency ends in June.

Yesterday, Scottish MEP George Lyon, one of the parliament’s negotiators, said: “It is vitally important the Scottish Government is able to decide both the pace and time farmers will have to make the switch to area-based payments. They also need real flexibility to shape the greening proposals to reflect the needs of the Scottish industry.”