20-06-2012 04:01 AM | News, NFU

NFU support for proportionate CAP fines



European Parliament proposals to introduce more proportionate control and punishment for farmers that fall foul of CAP rules are a step in the right direction, the NFU said today.

Italian MEP Giovanni La Via presented his report, ‘Financing, management and monitoring of the CAP 2014-2020’, to MEPs on the agriculture committee this week. The report has been prepared alongside three other draft Parliamentary reports on the CAP.

NFU combinable crops chairman Andrew Watts, in Brussels for another round of high level lobbying meetings, said the La Via report was just as important as the report on direct payments.

“When the dust settles on the negotiations, the way in which the policy is controlled is probably the area where we will see the biggest concerns for the membership,” said Mr Watts.

“The La Via proposal covers the rules relating to the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS), cross compliance, penalties and inspection regimes and we are pleased that the report addresses a number of concerns raised by the NFU.

“It is extremely positive that Mr La Via envisages a risk-based and proportionate control and withdrawal system, particularly relating to technological failures of animal ID and registration. He has also introduced an early warning system – a ‘yellow card’ – where if a farmer has a non-severe breach of regulation he will receive a warning letter and be given the opportunity to rectify this breach before he faces administrative penalties. This is very positive.

“Mr La Via also agrees with the NFU that penalties for non-compliance of the greening requirement should not extend beyond the greening payment and that cross compliance rules should be streamlined.

“However, he has not addressed concerns regarding the exchange rate mechanism. The NFU believes that the exchange rate calculation should be based on the average of a set period, rather than based on one day, thereby reducing the inherent risk associated.

“Overall the La Via report contains a number of constructive amendments which develops the Commission’s original proposal and we shall lobby to retain these positive developments.”

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