CAP Reform fruit and vegetables – allocation of SFP entitlements
Sinn Fein Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA has announced her decision on the fruit and vegetable CAP reforms.
This concerns the possible allocation of new Single Farm Payment (SFP) entitlements to fruit, vegetable, potato, orchard or nursery growers.
The minister said:
"After having considered carefully the responses to the consultation on this subject and the views of the Assembly Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, I have decided to allocate new SFP entitlements to orchard and nursery growers at a rate of €78.33/ha. This is the option which is most closely aligned to our existing model of decoupling and, as such, will complete the integration of the horticultural sector into the SFP, which is the main aim of these reforms."
The minister continued:
"I am aware of the strong support from the horticultural sector to allocate entitlements to this sector at the regional average value. However, this would involve a significant change to the principles currently underpinning our model of decoupling.
"I believe that it would be more appropriate to consider any changes to the nature of our model of decoupling in a broader context, possibly as part of the forthcoming CAP Health Check. As a result of the decisions I have announced today, horticultural producers will be in a position to play a full role in that particular debate over the coming months."
New entitlements will be allocated to orchard and nursery producers based on the area used to grow these crops in 2007. Entitlements will be allocated for the 2009 scheme year and further details on the application process will be announced in due course.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms to the fruit and vegetable sector were agreed by the EU Agricultural Council on 12 June 2007 and are contained in Council Regulation (EC) No. 1182/2007.
- DARD held a consultation on this subject from 7 October 2007 to 31 January 2008.