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Daff Issues Draft Cross Compliance Standards 12 November 2007

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has issued draft countryside management guidelines to the farming industry for consultation as part of the proposed reform of the agricultural support regime. Under current proposals farmers will need to comply with these standards in order to be eligible for support from the Isle of Man Government.

The introduction of the new scheme will mean major changes to the way DAFF supports the Agricultural industry. Under the proposed Countryside Care scheme farmers who wish to apply for support from the Government will be required to comply with these new management standards or Cross Compliance Standards to be eligible. Farmers who do not wish to apply for support have no obligation to comply with the new standards.

There are two components to the Cross Compliance Standards. The first is Statutory Management Requirements, which require compliance with existing regulations covering the environment, food safety, animal and plant health and animal welfare. The second component is Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAEC), which provide basic best practice for farmland management. The Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions will be applicable to all farmers who wish to claim support whether or not they actually produce from their land and will ensure land is maintained in good condition. This is accompanied by clearer obligations on farmers to maintain the existing world class standard of farming on the Island and manage their farms in line with best practice.

Agriculture Minister Phil Gawne MHK, said: ‘The introduction of Cross-Compliance will help our farming industry demonstrate their world class standards of sustainable agriculture, and should re-assure our Island residents of the value to the taxpayer these reforms will provide by ensuring the Island’s fantastic farmland heritage continues to be maintained effectively’.

A large cross sector of individuals and groups involved in countryside management are being given the opportunity to comment on the standards and their application on the Island. Anyone seeking to make comments should contact Andrew Macleod, Senior Field Officer, Agricultural Service Division, Knockaloe Farm, Patrick or email Andrew.macleod@gov.im no later than 16 November 2007.

Copies of the standards are available from Knockaloe farm on 842335, or can be downloaded from http://www.gov.im/daff/Consultations/cross_compliance.xml

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