Moving away from CAP provides opportunities – Defra representative

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Written by Agriland Team

Phasing out Common Agricultural Payments (CAP) as a result of Brexit means a “move away from a complex and prescriptive scheme”, a senior Defra adviser told delegates at a rural business conference.

Speaking at the Energy and Rural Business Show, James Grischeff, Defra principle advisor for Environmental Land Management system (ELMs) said: “The ELMs will be more collaborative and outcome-driven.

“It’s about deploying measures that deliver outcomes using the land managers skills in problem-solving and appropriate technical advice and guidance with much mess prescriptiveness.”

New ELMs

Farmers were encouraged to think about likely themes which will run through the new ELMs to prepare for the phasing out of CAP payments.

Including its voluntary nature and valuation methods focussed on protecting our ‘natural capital’ and benefitting our society, as well as ‘payments for outcomes’, meaning the more you do, the more you get.

In the future, farmers and land managers will be encouraged to understand their own ‘environmental potential’ and will be offered a choice of how to achieve outcomes in a more flexible model.

Grischeff highlighted that the Defra ‘vision’ was clearly outlined as “rewarding public goods with public money”.

“…Building a thriving; self-reliant and resilient farming sector; nurturing a trusting and productive relationship between farmers and Government and ensuring world-class animal welfare standards,” he added.

He informed delegates that the ELMs timeline roll-out dates are:

  • 2019 – 21 – develop a design and test new ideas;
  • 2021 – 24 – large-scale pilot;
  • 2025 – 2028 – ELM full roll-out.

When queried on the phasing out of the CAP after 2021, he proposed that the Government should maintain a similar level of support which will slowly transition into the ELMs.

The Energy and Rural Business Show took place on February 6 and 7, 2019.

The event hosted hundreds of expert speakers and exhibitors offering advice on everything from maximising existing and new renewable energy projects and practical and specific rural diversification advice, to the latest innovations and policy advances in low emission vehicles and energy storage.

Also at the event this year, the new BBC Top Gear presenters, Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris, filmed part of their new series, by unveiling three electric cars and engaging with the public.

The next Energy and Rural Business Show will take place in February 2020.

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