CAP reform update December 2013

CAP reform Q&A - Active farmer

There are still a few unanswered questions but there are now strong steers on many of them and Defra are expecting to publish another detailed paper by the end of this month.

For other common Q&As regarding the CAP reform, please navigate through the tabs below.


1. If I am deemed to be one of the excluded businesses (operator of airport, railway services, waterworks, real estate services, permanent sport and recreational ground) will I no longer receive subsidy?

Not necessarily. The EU legislation allows excluded applicants to reapply where the agricultural activity is “not insignificant” or its principal business objects include agricultural activity. Defra has not defined significant activity but the Welsh Government has defined it as where agricultural receipts are more than one third of the total receipts. It would be possible for any of these businesses to let the land to a qualifying farmer who could claim. Where there are no defined business objects the Welsh Government states that these may be supplied by the business’ accountant. The definition of these categories is likely to be drawn quite tightly to include only significant commercial operations. Defra has suggested that the detail will not be confirmed until October.

2. I have salt marshes and understand that since this land is naturally kept in a condition suitable for cultivation or grazing. In order to receive payment must I put input into the land on an annual basis if not grazed and what can that be?

Defra has decided that there is no land in England that is naturally kept in a condition suitable for cultivation or grazing without input. The Welsh government has included salt marsh and coastal dunes and Scotland (which is known as the Scottish clause) has identified rough grazing as land classified as naturally kept in a state suitable for agriculture. Both apply minimum stocking rates before providing other activity that would allow qualification. Wales neatly ask for “evidence of control of non-native invasive weeds and scrub”.

3. I have a golf driving range for my daughter to practice on. Will this mean that I will not be considered an active farmer and have to re-apply? I am worried because my other activities might mean that my agricultural income might not be sufficient to allow resubmission.

Defra assures us that non-commercial activities will not change the businesses status – swimming pools and tennis courts will not result in exclusion either.


Key contacts

Andrew Wraith

Andrew Wraith

Food & Farming

Savills Lincoln

+44 (0) 1522 508 973

+44 (0) 1522 508 973