Moving away from CAP provides opportunities, Defra representative says

Phasing out Common Agricultural Payments (CAP) as a result of Brexit means moving away from a complex and prescriptive scheme, says James Grischeff.

12 February 2019, at 12:49pm

Speaking at the Energy and Rural Business Show (7 February, 2019), the Defra principal advisor - Environmental Land Management system (ELMs), believes that new opportunities are on the horizon.

“The ELMs will be more collaborative and outcome-driven,” explained James. “It’s about deploying measures that deliver outcomes using the land managers skills in problem solving and appropriate technical advice and guidance with much mess prescriptiveness.”

Farmers wanting to prepare for the phasing out of CAP payments were encouraged to think about some themes which will run through the new ELMs, including its voluntary nature and valuation methods focussed on protecting our ‘natural capital’ and benefitting our society, as well as ‘payments for outcomes’, meaning the more you do, the more you get.

In future, farmers and land managers will be encouraged to understand their own ‘environmental potential’ and will be offered a choice how to achieve outcomes in a more flexible model.

The Defra ‘vision’ was clearly outlined as ‘rewarding public goods with public money; building a thriving; self-reliant and resilient farming sector; nurturing a trusting and productive relationship between farmers and Government and ensuring world class animal welfare standards.’

James informed that the ELMs timeline roll out dates are as follows:

  • 2019 – 21 – develop a design and test new ideas.
  • 2021 – 24 – large scale pilot.
  • 2025 – 2028 – ELM full roll out.

When queried on the phasing out of the CAP after 2021, James proposed that the Government should maintain a similar level of support which will slowly transition into the ELMs.

The Energy and Rural Business Show took place 6 and 7 February, 2019, and the next show will take place in February 2020.