Minister reveals SPS eligibility

Land under orchards and nursery crops will become eligible under the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) from the 2009 scheme year, minister Lord Rooker has revealed.

The news follows the Government's announcement last autumn to end the fruit, vegetable and potato (FVP) authorisation system - meaning growers can use their SPS land to grow FVP products without the area restrictions.

Rooker said the decision to make land under orchards and nursery crops eligible for 2009 will safeguard the SPS 2008 payment timetable.

A consultation exercise is taking place early on the criteria under which any new entitlements will be allocated in respect of this land in 2009 or 2010.

He said: "There is a balance to be achieved between the interests of orchard and nursery growers and the wider concerns of all SPS claimants. I am clear we must ensure that nothing is done that hinders the progress the RPA is now making in delivering the SPS."


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