Liz welcomes key steps to fairer and greener EU farming policy
County Euro MP Liz Lynne has hailed a key vote in a European Parliament committee this week as an important step to a reformed Common Agricultural Policy which is both green and good value for taxpayers.
The Agriculture Committee voted in favour of a Liberal Democrat report on the future of the CAP after 2013 with tough proposals for more efficiency and to support farmers who farm in a more green and energy efficient way.
Speaking at the Parliament in Strasbourg today, Liz Lynne said: "The CAP needs reform but our local farmers also need the capacity to produce and compete. This at a time when money is tight but global demand for food is rising as populations increase.
"This excellent report written by my Lib Dem colleague George Lyon MEP makes clear that farmers and producers will need to do more with less. That is why MEPs on the committee voted in favour of linking farmers' direct payments to their efforts to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment.
"In this way we can both maintain our food security and tackle climate change.
"It was also good news for farmers that the committee voted against the idea of renationalizing agricultural policy. They also supported a move from historic payments to area based farm payments and to ensure fair trade for farmers competing with giant supermarkets. There will also be action to end low-yield 'slipper' farmers.
"We now have the basis of a fair, sustainable and green reform of EU farming policy and I very much hope Parliament as a whole will back it. It's a win for producers, a win for consumers and a win for the environment.
"Just as in the UK Coalition Government, Liberal Democrats are rolling up their sleeves and coming up with practical reforms to save public money, cut waste and protect the environment."