Spelman: Alliances Will Shape CAP That Fits06 January 2012
UK - Caroline Spelman says alliances forged with other EU member states will help increase the power and influence held by British agriculture.
Responding to the Oxford Farming Conference's power report, the Secretary of State said a collaborative approach with EU countries would help shape a CAP that worked for domestic farmers, reports the NFU.
She called for more flexibility for funds from pillar two to create innovation and entrepreneurship, saying that a little could go a long way.
International relationships formed by cabinet members was a key message in the address, with Mrs Spelman keen to highlight the work done by her department in the 12 months since the last conference in Oxford.
"I hope that a year on you feel the difference that we have made," she said.
The Defra secretary pointed to the natural environment and water white papers, along with red tape reform and movement on bovine TB control as a demonstration of the work her team was doing.
"We're the first make a thorough report into our natural resources with our ecosystem report," she said.
New entrants into agriculture was also a key focus. Despite UCAS figures showing a rise in veterinary and agricultural course applications of 40 per cent since 2006, Mrs Spelman said we still needed to look further ahead.
"We need to get the message across that agri-food is the sector of the future," she said.
Summarising how the government would give agriculture the power and support it needed, the Secretary of State said: "The picture I have painted is of a small but powerful island. This industry is key to the realisation of our vision for a green and growing economy. There is no room for complacency."
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