Time for EC to deliver fair and flexible cross compliance says Kendall

NFU president Peter Kendall is to challenge the EC to deliver its commitment to fair and flexible cross compliance measures when he gives evidence to a European Parliament public hearing today.

NFU president Peter Kendall is to challenge the European Commission to deliver its commitment to fair, flexible and proportionate cross compliance measures when he gives evidence to a European Parliament public hearing today.

Kendall has been invited to give evidence at the hearing to highlight issues affecting farmers and growers throughout the UK. These include: ensuring cross compliance is proportionate and clear; that it is equal and implemented in the same way across Europe: rewarding good practice and promoting better understanding and recognising the importance of farm assurance

He will call for the lifting of the "fog of paper and threat of penalty that surrounds agriculture at present" and will challenge the British Government to follow the Commission's lead and "strip cost and fear out of cross compliance".

Kendall said: "Cross compliance needs to be implemented in similar ways across member states or, as we are seeing, competitive disadvantages occur. We also need to be clear about the purpose of cross compliance.

"Few people involved in European agriculture are unaware of the concern created by the threat of cross compliance breaches that pervades many farm business transactions. This is a far cry from the original intention that cross compliance should be a consistent method of encouraging good farming practice, that land be kept in good condition, and that it was farmers who should receive the Single Payment - not absentee landlords.

"We need an action plan from the Commission to put in place changes that ensure cross compliance is proportionate, light touch and clear as soon as possible. The problems are clear. So are the solutions. Act now."

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