The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has exceeded its latest domestic Single Payment Scheme (SPS) targets more than two months early.
The Agency has now paid £1.61billion to more than 100,650 English farmers and has exceeded targets to pay more than 97 per cent of those eligible and 97 per cent of the fund value by 31 March. This is its best ever performance and also means that it has exceeded the benchmark set by the EU five months early.
RPA Chief Executive Mark Grimshaw said:
“We have exceeded the impressive figures we produced last year and have set even higher standards with another exceptional performance.
“While this is great news for the Agency, it is also excellent news for the vast majority of English farmers and producers who have received these vital funds earlier than ever before.
“These results clearly demonstrate our commitment to deliver a first-class service to our customers.”
The Agency’s commitment in its Business Plan 2013-14 was to pay 86 per cent of payments by value and 93 per cent of customers by number by 31 December 2013.
This first target was more than met on the first banking day (2 December) when 89.3 per cent of the estimated fund value was paid out, and the second target was achieved within the first week of December, three weeks ahead of schedule.
The Agency achieved its end of March targets in January. Its target to pay 97 per cent of customers by 31 March was met on January 19, and its target to pay 97 per cent of the estimated fund value was met two days later. The EU benchmark is to pay more than 95.238 per cent of the scheme fund value estimate by the end of June.