CLA President Harry Cotterell today (Tuesday, 22 November) gave evidence on the greening of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to the House of Commons' Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee.
Mr Cotterell told the influential Committee of MPs that the European Commission's proposals on mandatory greening of the CAP threaten to completely disrupt the enormous efforts the UK has put into agri-environment schemes.
The CLA President urged the Committee to encourage the UK Government to look at how our current agri-environment schemes can be incorporated into any greening of the CAP.
He made the point that the UK schemes are recognised as delivering additional environmental benefit, have achieved a good uptake within the industry and are widely understood.
Mr Cotterell also flagged up points in the proposal with which the CLA disagrees. He told the Efra Committee it was unnecessary and unreasonable to insist that farmers must establish entitlements for 2014 by claiming in 2011, and he described the Commission's proposed definition of active farmers as a recoupling and practically inoperable.
He added that, at worst, the Commission's plan would impact on food security, and stressed that greening must not be allowed to damage the competitiveness of farming.