In the course of our preparations for next week’s meeting of the CAP stakeholder group, the team were discussing yesterday one of the newer ideas that’s doing the rounds in Brussels.
Some people are saying that if a farm is predominantly grass – say over 75 per cent – then it should be exempt from some or all of the greening requirements.
We identified a number of arguments in both directions. On one hand this would undoubtedly be a major simplification for both farmers and government, and everybody likes simplification. On the other hand it would mean that on those farms we forego any opportunity to deliver additional environmental benefit, or even to address environmental problems that might exist on some all- or mostly-grass farms.
On another other hand, at least some of these farms will meet the definition of High Nature Value farming already, and where there are problems maybe they are better addressed by more targeted measures such as diffuse pollution controls.
Next week we’ll ask the stakeholder group for their views. In the meantime, what do you think?