MEPs adopt Common Agricultural Policy budget report

Growers have welcomed the adoption by MEPs of a report on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that aims to safeguard budgets and offer top-up payments for environmental practices.

The gathering in Strasbourg last month voted "yes" to the report on the future of CAP beyond 2013, which was written by Liberal Democrat MEP for Scotland George Lyon.

He said: "The policy is the oldest, often hardest, shared policy negotiated between EU member states. The reformed CAP must address challenges of the new century."

He called for the EU budget to be maintained from 2013, direct payments to come from the EU rather than member states and top-ups for eco drives.

He also said food safety should be rewarded, clearer information on country of origin should be a priority and farmers should have power to deal with processors and retailers.

NFU head of economics and international affairs Tom Hind said: "This vote gives an idea how the parliament will treat reform when it looks at it next year." He added that shifting from CAP to proper returns from the marketplace needed "constructive, pragmatic" reform.


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