Moving away from CAP provides opportunities, Defra representative says

Phasing out Common Agricultural Payments (CAP) as a result of Brexit means a move away from a complex and prescriptive scheme, said James Grischeff, Defra principle advisor – Environmental Land Management system (ELMs), speaking at Energy and Rural Business Show on 7th February.

“The ELMs will be more collaborative and outcome-driven,” explained James. “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.”

Farmers wanting to prepare for the phasing out of CAP payments were encouraged to think about some themes which will run through the new ELMs, 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 future, farmers and land managers will be encouraged to understand their own ‘environmental potential’ and will be offered a choice how to achieve outcomes in a more flexible model.  

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.’

Mr Grischeff informed 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, Mr Grischeff  proposed that the Government should maintain a similar level of support which will slowly transition into the ELMs.

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.