The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will be making personal contact with more than 20,000 customers over the next few months in a bid to assist them to make their Single Payment Scheme (SPS) 2014 claims online.
The Agency will be focussing on farm agents who still submit the bulk of their claims on paper and farmers who use Cattle Tracing Service (CTS) Online but not SPS Online. Local drop in centres will no longer be available from 2014, so former users will also be amongst those who will get offers of help from the RPA.
Customer Director Justin Chamberlain said:
“We would urge farmers to make 2014 the year they move more of their business online. The forthcoming reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the new system that will administer the replacement to the Single Payment Scheme (the Basic Payment Scheme due for launch in 2015) is being designed as an online service, so moving online is now an urgent priority for farmers.
“SPS Online is easy to access, faster and more secure and offers built-in checks and an online receipt. Most farmers now choose the online route because it makes good business sense.
“Applicants used to paper forms will find the online layout familiar but with a few extra benefits. If you don’t know where to start, we are happy to help. Call our helpline or look out for our demonstrations at forthcoming trade shows and events.”
In 2013, some 14,000 claimants made the switch and applied electronically for the first time, which means now more than half of all SPS customers reap the benefits of the built-in checks, security and instant acknowledgement of receipt of their application.