July 30, 2020


England to scrap EU's 'greening' requirements for farmers



Farmers in England are set to graduate from complying with the EU's so-called greening requirements and move toward the country's new Environmental Land Management scheme, which is seen to deliver more benefits for the environment.


Under "greening", or "green direct payment", farmers who adopt or maintain farming practices that help meet environmental and climate goals get financial support. EU countries have to allocate 30% of their income support to "greening".


The Poultry Site reported that the English government plans to do away with the greening requirements effective next year.


The report added that these requirements have historically delivered little for the environment, as was documented in the European Court of Auditors 2017 Special Report on greening.


"The so-called greening requirements have added little to our environmental efforts. We believe that farmers will benefit from this reduced bureaucratic burden next year as we begin the move towards our new Environmental Land Management scheme which will deliver greater benefits for the environment", Environment Secretary George Eustice said.


"We will be setting out more detail in the autumn on how we will ensure a smooth transition for our farmers, as they move towards our new, fairer agricultural system, which will reward them for the hard work that they do to protect our environment", he added.


The transition to the new scheme will not affect the overall payment received by each farmer as the money will instead be added to farmers' entitlements under the Basic Payment Scheme.


The new Environmental Land Management scheme will reward farmers for delivering public goods, such as tree or hedge planting, river management to mitigate flooding, and creating or restoring habitats for wildlife. It will introduce new ways of working together with farmers to deliver better environmental outcomes and reverse the decline of some of England's most cherished species.