This consultation is concerned with simplifying the current CAP regulations, until the Welsh Government’s (WG) plans for the future of agriculture and the rural economy are delivered through a White Paper and introduction of an Agriculture (Wales) Bill in the next Senedd term.
WG identify the proposals in this consultation set out a number of small but impactful changes to the scheme requirements. The proposed changes will only apply to the new domestic BPS and RDP, which will commence in scheme year 2021. The existing EU funded BPS (claim year 2019 and earlier), and RDP schemes will continue to operate under EU law.
The consultation will run from 31st July to 23rd October 2020.
NFU Cymru Comment
NFU Cymru President, John Davies, said: "A number of the proposals within this consultation address long running issues that NFU Cymru has raised historically as part of the European Commission simplification agenda and to various 'red tape' reviews instigated by Welsh Government. More recently these matters have been covered within our responses to the Welsh Government Brexit and Our Land and Sustainable Farming and Our Land consultations.
"We welcome proposals to reduce the heavy bureaucratic burden that has been placed on those farmers who have been caught up by crop diversification and ecological focus area rules. However, with cropping plans and preparation now underway for the 2021 harvest we have concerns that it will be many months before clarification and confirmation is given that these rules will not apply in 2021. This will mean that our growers will have to continue to plan for all eventualities.
"We are pleased that WG propose to progress simplification of the current CAP architecture during the transition period. We welcome the commitment to maintain the BPS for 2021 and restate our position that transition should not occur until there is clear evidence through impact assessment, modelling and piloting – that replacement scheme(s) can deliver at least the same level of stability for farming businesses, the food supply chain and rural communities. WG must address concerns with RDP implementation and a full independent review of the RDP must be undertaken before moving forward with the development of new scheme given that the current proposals closely mirror the RDP approach.
"We would very much welcome your views on the proposals in this consultation. The consultation will be discussed in county and board meetings to be held in the coming weeks."