19 December 2013

The CLA in the Midlands has welcomed Environment Secretary Owen Paterson’s decision to step back from shifting the maximum allowed percentage of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funds from farming to rural development.

CLA Midlands regional director Caroline Bedell said: “We are very pleased that Mr Paterson has listened to the industry and moved 12 percent from farm support to rural development rather than choosing the maximum figure allowable of 15 percent. It has taken months of lobbying to avoid the worst case scenario, but it has proved worth the effort.

“It was always going to be a difficult decision and I believe the minister has struck a reasonable balance between supporting the environment and rural development as well as ensuring that farmers in England are left well placed to put food on the nation’s tables.”

The CLA said it was right the Government is continuing to recognise - through investing in agri-environment schemes - the great contribution that farmers make to the environment.

Mrs Bedell added: “I am greatly encouraged by the decision to continue to support the rural growth programme through the package of proposals, but there is a great deal of detail still to emerge.”

Owen Paterson's statement on Implementation of CAP can be read here