Commission to hear from Scottish farmers on reducing CAP burden
Dr Ian Duncan has today secured a meeting with technical experts from Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan's team to address concerns of Scottish farmers about the new Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).
During a meeting of the European Conservative & Reformist’s Working Group on the Rural Economy, which Dr Duncan chairs, Mr Hogan conceded that there remained a number of outstanding technical issues with the implementation of the new CAP, and that the regulations needed to be simplified. The meeting arranged with technical experts will aim to reduce the burden of the new CAP rules on Scottish farmers, and will take place in the coming weeks.
To facilitate the exchange, Dr Duncan is calling on Scottish farmers and those affected by the new CAP rules to share their concerns and experiences so these can be fed directly to the Commissioner's team.
Commenting Dr Duncan said:
"Farmers across Scotland are concerned that the new CAP rules are unduly punitive, so I am delighted that Mr Hogan has recognised that they need to be simplified.
"We should never be in a situation where farmers are more concerned about box-ticking than harvesting, or where farmers run the risk of being fined for simple misinterpretations of the overly complex rules.
"I want to collect as many views as possible on how the CAP rules can be made clearer and more proportionate so that farmers can get on with the job at hand.
"I urge anyone with concerns to get in touch so I can raise your suggestions and experiences directly with the Commissioner in Brussels. This is a good opportunity for Scottish farmers to tell Brussels what they want to see changed."
The Scottish Conservatives Rural Affairs Spokesman Alex Fergusson added:
"CAP reform is one of the most important issues facing Scotland’s farmers in the coming months and years and it is vital that any reforms reflect the views and needs of the farming community.
"I am pleased that Commissioner Hogan appears to be prepared to listen to the concerns of Scottish farmers, and I would urge individual farmers and to get in touch with Ian Duncan MEP with specific areas of concern so that these issues can be raised with the Commissioner directly.
"This is a great opportunity to take these concerns directly to the Commissioner, and it is an opportunity that should not be missed."
Dr Duncan can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
1. Dr Ian Duncan is the Conservative MEP for Scotland and chairs the ECR Working Group on Rural Affairs
2. Phil Hogan is the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development http://ec.europa.eu/commission/2014-2019/hogan_en
3. The Common Agricultural Policy is the system by which the EU allocates subsidies for farmers http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/cap-overview/2014_en.pdf