National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

23 April 2012

YFC representatives are pleased to hear of European support for the plight of the next generation of farmers and look forward to discussing CAP reform proposals further at next Saturday’s NFYFC agriculture forum – Explore the Future Food Chain -  with YFC  members, industry and Defra.

This week the European Court of Auditors’ (ECA) highlighted several issues within the European Commission’s CAP proposals, incorporating a chapter on young farmers measures.  
 
The ECA particularly welcomed the change to prioritising the allocation of entitlements from national reserves to young farmers starting their agricultural activity, addressing worries that these could become additional barriers to entry. The Court also welcomed the top-up aid for farmers under 40, stating that it may “encourage young farmers to start up innovative and dynamic farming businesses” – a position which is shared by the European Council of Young Farmers. Finally, the Court included a note on the national reserve year, echoing calls from President of CEJA, Joris Baecke, that the reference year of 2011 for entitlements is likely to create “new barriers to entry for new farmers”.
 
Joris Baecke said of the young farmers chapter: “The Court shares our concerns relating to the problematic reference year of 2011 for new entrants, as well as our view that young farmers should consistently be given priority in terms of entitlements from national reserves in future. Now, we call on the Council and Parliament to take this into account, and to improve the Commission’s proposals by avoiding this particular potential barrier to entry for future farmers.”


03 April 2012

Young Farmers’ Club members took their CAP Reform debate to Brussels during a recent study trip to the European Parliament, sponsored by South East MEP Richard Ashworth.

YFC members discussed CAP Reform greening proposals and options with Julie Girling MEP. Kent member Stuart Jakeman and Tom Collinson from Norfolk provided practical examples of how the current proposals would be detrimental in their respective counties.  

There was stimulating discussion between farming members and MEP Jim Nicholson regarding the proposals: the need for simplification, the reasons for proposals and for the need to examine ways in which other Member States tackle issues highlighted in the reform proposals.

Helen Reeve, NFYFC Agriculture and Rural Affairs Chairman said: “This was an ideal opportunity to learn, listen, debate and represent our fellow members during the current CAP Reform negotiations.  Our group brought their farming experience and future expectation to MEPs in Europe.  Whilst we were delighted to hear from four MEPs, we were equally pleased to be able to speak directly about our concerns and hopes for our farming future.”

YFC members and members of the national Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee were delighted to visit the CEJA (European Council for Young Farmers) office during their study tour. They listened to a presentation and took part in discussion on current CAP Reform with the CEJA Secretary General Pascale Rouhier and CEJA’s publicity officer.

The group was also joined by Stuart Agnew MEP who was keen to talk to YFC members about the issues.  There was a wide geographical representation from YFCs including Norfolk, Kent, Bedfordshire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire. Five members of the NFYFC Youth Forum attended to ensure the views of younger YFC members were addressed.


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