The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is contacting smallholders throughout England this week to help give them plenty of time to decide what to do next about important EU rule changes.
Around 18,000 Single Payment Scheme (SPS), claimants have less than five hectares and / or five entitlements and need to start to plan for the introduction of the new Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) for farm payments in May 2015.
RPA External Relations Director Arik Dondi said:
“Anyone currently claiming SPS who has less than five hectares of land and/or five entitlements needs to be thinking now about decisions they must make and actions they might take around the 2015 BPS payment.
“We are working to implement the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in a way that is as simple, affordable and effective as possible.
“This activity is aimed at a particular group who will be affected by the new scheme and is just one of the ways we are working together across Defra to help people understand how the reforms will affect them, what they need to do and when, and how to get more information.”
Those affected by the new rules need to consider transferring entitlements to another farmer before 21 October or, having registered on the new CAP Information Service (CAPIS) online system, transferring entitlements to another farmer next year.
The CAP Information Service online system will be introduced gradually, initially with small groups of customers, and on an ongoing basis over the summer and autumn. Customers will be contacted directly and asked to register onto the system later this year. Customers will be able to register, check their details are up to date and familiarise themselves with the new system before confirming their entitlements, eligibility and submitting a BPS application in 2015. The RPA will give more information when the service is ready.
The CAP Reform section of the GOV.UK website provides a single point of access to further guidance on CAP.
More information about the Common Agricultural Policy (PDF, 127KB, 2 pages)