CAP Reform Front Line Mid-Skirmish Update

Members of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee have today voted on the shape of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) from 2014 to 2020.

Speaking after the vote on the CAP reports on Direct Payments and Rural Development, Alyn said:

"We've put in a good shift of work in the Committee today to get through these votes but, overall, I am quite satisfied by what has come out so far.

"We've seen some good results for Scottish farmers, most notably on greening which has been made considerably more flexible in light of the amendments than what the Commission originally proposed. We've also seen the herbaceous issue put to rest, with a good definition of permanent pasture agreed upon. New entrants have definitely seen the CAP move in the right direction, with guarantees of support contained within Article 21 and within the passages on the National Reserve which is really excellent news. Importantly, too, the so-called Scottish Clause in Article 9 to tighten the definition of active farming was successful which I hope will work to lend the CAP a greater degree of legitimacy amongst the public.

"For Rural Development too, I am upbeat about the final result. Although I voted against due to the unfortunate success of amendments which result in double payments - an illegal situation to find ourselves in - the majority was still heading in the right direction. We've got support for community ownership and basic services in rural areas, plus 25% of funds ring-fenced for agri-environment schemes and organic farming payments and 5% for LEADER programmes.

"We're not done yet but so far so good for Scottish farming."