National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

06 December 2017

NFYFC met with young farmers from across Europe in early December to discuss the European Commission’s communication on the future CAP.

NFYFC’s AGRI Chairman Harriet Wilson joined the CEJA (European Council of Young Farmers) meeting in Warsaw to represent UK young farmers, who are facing major change in light of Brexit.

The CEJA meeting came at a time when UK young farmers are sharing their views on a future British Agricultural Policy with Defra. A series of regional and county discussion events have been taking place across the country to gather young farmers’ views on the future of farming in the UK after the country moves out of the EU.

The meeting gave Harriet a first-hand opportunity to talk to European young famers about their concerns and issues for their farming future. NFYFC's attendance was important to help with considerations not only about the CAP but the consequences of Brexit for all farmers in the UK and Europe.

CEJA believes that a more concrete vision for the future of the agricultural sector has to be included in discussions on the CAP. The organisation, of which NFYFC is currently a member, is calling for there to be a level playing field among member states to ensure young farmers across the EU receive the same opportunities.

In particular, CEJA believes that young farmer schemes and generational renewal measures need to be mandatory and set out at EU level while encouraging member states to fully support young farmers through national policies such as taxation.

CEJA also welcomed the mention of a succession model to facilitate generational renewal and access to land. The reference to “those who are actively farming in order to earn a living” is also a good starting point but a more ambitious and strong definition of active farmer must exist for supports to be better targeted.

CEJA also called for: 

  • A modernisation of decoupled payment system with the aim that direct payments should not only be linked to land
  • Greater efforts to define and implement risk management tools 
  • A range of environmental measures to be installed that are financially attractive and accessible only to active farmers
  • The focus of generational renewal must be exclusively on young farmers and dealt with across the entire CAP.

The UK will be subject to EU requirements during a transitional arrangement from operating under an EU Common Agricutlural Policy to developing and implementing a new British Agricultural Policy. A proposal for NFYFC and NFU Next Generation Forum to host a CEJA working group on post-Brexit trade and relationship opportunities next March is currently being devised.


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