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Common Agricultural Policy

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is of fundamental importance to many farmers and landowners. Both direct and in-direct payments underpin the profitability of much of UK agriculture. Therefore protecting and preserving the rights to payment is vital for our clients.

We advise on the transfer of Basis Payment Scheme Entitlements on the sale and purchase of farm land or other changes of occupation documenting the transfer of Entitlements and apportioning rights and obligations under agri-environmental schemes. We also draft tenancies to ensure that entitlements are not lost and incorporating any necessary “dual use”provisions.

When dealing with options and other contracts that may allow third parties onto farm land we will advise on how best to protect payments and pass on the risks of losses. We also frequently advise on CAP issues on business changes or re-organisations, making sure that on the transfer of a business, whether voluntarily or as a result of death, the Entitlements are transferred to the correct people.

Despite frequent promises of reducing red tape, the regulatory burden on the owners of farming businesses seems to be ever increasing. The breach of these rules and regulations, being a failure to cross-comply, can have a direct impact on payments under the CAP. We provide pragmatic advice on compliance including where a compliance breach is alleged by the authorities jeopardising valuable farm income, challenging Defra the RPA and other such bodies where necessary.

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