FUW SETS OUT CAP REFORM CONCERNS TO SENIOR EC OFFICIALS
The Farmers' Union of Wales has met EC Agriculture Commissioner's head of cabinet and other top EC officials to highlight Welsh farmers' concerns over reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
In a meeting with Commissioner Dacian Ciolos' head of cabinet Georg Häusler and cabinet member Gwilym Jones, senior FUW officials and staff stressed that previous agri-environmental work carried out in Wales must be recognised and that "greening" should remain firmly in Pillar 2 of the CAP.
FUW deputy president Glyn Roberts said: "The discussions with members of Ciolos' cabinet were lively, particularly with regard to the current greening proposals, and we will be seeking clarification regarding suggestions by Messrs Häusler and Jones which could significantly reduce the impact for Welsh farmers.
"However, our view remains firm that greening belongs in Pillar 2."
The union also made it clear that the proposal to abolish payment entitlements in 2013 and recreate them based upon the number of hectares declared in 2014 represents a major threat for large numbers of Welsh farmers and those in other EU regions.
"The commission has rightly placed an emphasis on direct payments going to genuine farmers, but the current proposal is likely to reduce the amount going to those who are genuinely farming the land, as well as artificially distorting the land market," said Mr Roberts.
However, Mr Roberts emphasised that these were early days and that the proposals would change significantly over the coming months and years.
"During our meetings with MEPs and commission officials, the union has been praised for being proactive and putting forward alternative proposals at an early stage which would help reduce disruption for Welsh and UK farmers.
"We are committed to remaining involved at every stage of the negotiations in order to get the best deal possible for Wales."