NBA Calls for Simple Pillar Two Schemes

Article excerpt

PILLAR TWO schemes, likely to be established throughout the United Kingdom as part of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform steering to protect the landscape and environment, must be kept simple and easy to adopt, the National Beef Association has said.

The NBA is hoping there will be incentives aimed at suckler cows and other grazing animals to encourage good ecological management but is worried that the conditions imposed on farmers with cattle that sustain wildlife and plant habitats could be too restrictive.

"We have no doubt that the marriage between grass and beef cattle will continue to play an important role in meeting national aims to sustain a range of natural environments," explained NBA chairman, Robert Robinson.

"However we are equally certain that, without well-designed encouragement, there could soon be less sucklers on the most difficult farms and that new incentives will be necessary to make sure beef cattle are present in all the areas they are needed.

"This means that, if environmentalists and Government are serious about meeting their aims, the schemes they put forward must be constructed so conditions can be met by commercial farmers and are not seen as a disincentive to running efficient, cattle-based, businesses.

"The NBA will soon be meeting with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, regional Governments, and environmental representatives to discuss these issues and, while it promises to examine their proposals fairly, it will be anxious to make sure farmers running well-managed cattle farms are not discouraged. …