Defra’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) consultation

01 November 2013

Soil Association comment: Defra’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) consultation

The Soil Association welcomes the launch of Defra’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) consultation. It is the key opportunity for farmers and the public to have their say on how the CAP budget is spent in the UK and the Soil Association is urging producer and public members to write in with their views.

Organic farms deliver the public goods that citizens expect such as increased wildlife, more jobs on farms, higher animal welfare, less inputs and transparency of the food chain. Yet in return for those public benefits, UK organic farmers currently receive the lowest payments across the whole of the EU. Now we are seeing a return to organic market growth we need to ensure organic farmers are adequately supported to avoid significant imports of organic food into the UK. All organic farmers in the UK should receive support for the clear benefits they provide which are fair compared to payments in the rest of the EU.

The Soil Association backs the intention to move the full 15% allowed from Pillar One to Pillar Two (payments to provide environmental and other public benefits). Without this, agri-environment payments (including those for organic farmers) would be put at serious risk.

Helen Browning, Chief Executive of the Soil Association said; “One of the few good outcomes of the CAP reform process at an EU level has been clear support for organic farming, recognising its benefits for the environment and the rural development. The UK Government must now follow the lead of other EU countries in supporting organic farming, for example by ensuring that all organic farmers receive fair recognition for the significant benefits they provide.”

Notes

The consultation runs until 28th November. For details of how to respond, please see: /https://consult.defra.gov.uk/communications/cap-consultation
For updates on how the detailed UK proposals could impact organic farmers see www.soilassociation.org/cap early next week






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