Growers in England will no longer need the problematic fruit,
vegetable and potato (FVP) authorisations when claiming payments
under the single payment scheme, as part of a package of reforms
agreed by EU agriculture ministers yesterday.
Defra ministers now have until the end of November to decide how
and when they will introduce this change to the single payment
scheme, which can take effect from January 1 2008.
The NFU is calling on Defra to make its decision as soon as possible
to give the RPA sufficient time to introduce administrative changes
and give growers more certainty over their land rental arrangements
going into next year.
Further changes to the single payment scheme also mean that land
used for the production of orchard crops will become eligible to
support a claim for payment entitlements and also receive payment
entitlements. The NFU anticipates Defra will consult the industry
on the latter aspect of this measure.
NFU President Peter Kendall said: “The Council of Ministers’ decision
on the reform of the fruit and vegetable regime means that the
administrative nightmare for growers of fruit, vegetable and potato
authorisations can be consigned to history. We will now be working
with Defra to ensure that this measure and the others agreed in
the package are introduced quickly and appropriately in England.”
Ministers also agreed that fruit and vegetable co-operatives in
the UK will gain greater flexibility and their rules simplified
to encourage producers to join. Producer organisations will also
be able to promote the consumption of fruit and vegetables targeted
at children and benefit from additional support from the EU.
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