Professional agricultural valuers can help farmers to shape a profitable, stable and environmentally friendly future, and have travelled to Brussels to explain how.
Jeremy Moody, Secretary and Adviser to the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) met with EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan on Thursday (12th May) to discuss the current financial crisis in farming and future development of the CAP. “With agriculture’s need to respond intelligently to the present serious difficulties, we discussed how agricultural valuers can give great support to farming businesses and families,” he said.
Mr Moody also thanked Commissioner Hogan for responding to the CAAV’s request to urgently extend the BPS application dates last year.
The meeting followed Commissioner Hogan’s speech to Farm Europe on 5th April, entitled CAP beyond the crisis – paving the way for a sustainable growth for the EU. In this, Commissioner Hogan explored how the CAP could support producers through the current downturn, and help deliver sustainable growth in the agri-food sector in the longer-term.
Mr Moody took the opportunity to explain how professional agricultural valuers could help the industry to meet these goals. “With the knowledge, experience and breadth of perspective, the professional advice of an agricultural valuer, with other advisers, can help farmers, landowners and others review their position, business structures and the agreements they use to take land,” he said.
He illustrated how the CAAV’s work and guidance on land occupation arrangements and business agreements in Northern Ireland could produce a thriving tenanted sector, drawing on long experience in Great Britain.
“CAAV members can be a great support to the industry and so help deliver the work of the Commissioner in improving agricultural productivity, competitiveness and environmental performance.”
In looking ahead at the CAP, Commissioner Hogan stressed that the future of the CAP was likely to turn on its ability to deliver benefits for water, soil fertility and climate change. “The CAP has to be seen through the environmental and social prisms,” he said in his speech to Farm Europe. “We depend on those responsible for the countryside to maintain it so that we can continue to appreciate it. I would like to see a greater understanding and convergence between all stakeholders. Farmers must understand that society requires and markets demand more initiatives that will lead to greater environmental sustainability.”
Mr Moody said afterwards: “With the mid term review of the EU budget after the UK referendum, the CAP will need to be seen to give good value for its large share of EU spending. We can see that the trend in policy will be to see more environmental demands made for CAP payments to farmers and, without that, the money may be vulnerable.”