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Serious concerns over cross-compliance inspections

by 5m Editor
25 November 2005, at 12:00am

UK - Serious concerns over the Rural Payment Agency’s cross-compliance inspections have been raised by one of the RPA’s own non-executive directors, who also heads up Britain’s largest farming business. Christine Tacon, general manager of Farmcare and a member of the independent group overseeing DEFRA’s farm strategy, said cross-compliance inspections are proving to be far from the light touch promised by policy makers and urgently require the introduction of some proportionality. “Talk at the top of a light touch is welcome, but we’ve not seen much evidence, so far, that the talk is reality. The inspections are being imposed in a totally black and white manner.” At one Farmcare 2000ha (4900 acre) unit RPA inspectors spent one month measuring everything, she said. “And I mean everything. They were particularly upset a small area had not been planted with an energy crop, and that at another point the 2m margin had gone down to 1.5m.” For Farmcare to spend the same time checking measurements would need two people employed at a cost of £100k, she said. Another example of the tough line being taken is the 2000 letters already sent out to farmers indicating a breach of cross-compliance of the Cattle Identification Records, even though they could relate to animals that were dead well before cross-compliance existed, she said. <i>Source: FWi</i>

5m Editor