The CLA today (26 June 2013) urged Environment Secretary Owen Paterson to rethink his position on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) modulation after a reform deal was struck in Brussels.
CLA President Harry Cotterell welcomed the agreement between the European Agriculture Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament, saying the time was right for Mr Paterson to reconsider his approach to the implementation of so-called voluntary modulation from Pillar One (direct payment to farmers and land managers) to Pillar Two (rural development schemes).
Mr Cotterell said: "We are pleased that these three institutions have finally brokered a deal on CAP reform. It is clear we have won some valuable concessions for our members and UK farmers when you compare what has been agreed with the initial proposals.
"However, we are still concerned that Mr Paterson will put English farmers at a competitive disadvantage to our Continental neighbours by insisting on moving 15 percent of Pillar One funds into Pillar Two when other European governments will not be doing this."
The CLA President added: "We need to remember, of course, that we will not see the final legal text of the CAP reform deal until late this year, so there may still be some surprises to come. We will continue to lobby in the interests of farmers and land managers until the deal is set in stone."