Cross Compliance Latest
latest DEFRA guidance on SPS Cross Compliance (March
It puts in place a new baseline standard for agriculture that all
Single Payment applicants must meet from 1 January 2005.
There are two key elements of cross compliance that farmers must
meet in return for £1.5bn of public money annually:
Standards of good agricultural and environmental condition (GAEC)
relate to the protection and maintenance of soils, habitats and landscape
features. Member States have some, limited discretion in setting these;
Statutory management requirements (SMRs) comprise a number of
articles from 19 EU Directives and Regulations applicable to farmers. They are
set by the EU, apply to all Member States, and cover the environment, public,
plant and animal health and, from January 2007, animal welfare. They are subject
to a rolling introduction ending in 2007.
We are obliged to inspect a 1% sample of farmers to ensure that
they are meeting the standards. This has been very largely devolved to the RPA,
working closely with specialist agencies e.g. Environment Agency, State
Veterinary Service & Veterinary Medicine Directorate where necessary.
the 2003 reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is central to England's
Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food. Farmers will have greater freedom to
farm to meet the demands of the market as subsidies will be decoupled from
production. At the same time, all claimants will have to meet a new
baseline standard for agriculture (known as cross compliance) which contributes
to a range of departmental objectives such as improving compliance with
environmental standards, public and animal health and animal welfare standards
and promoting other aspects of good farming practice. Standards have been
set for England with a parallel process being undertaken in the Devolved
The cross compliance provisions fall under two distinct headings:
Statutory Management Requirements (SMR) and Good Agricultural and Environmental
Condition (GAEC) standards. The SMRs comprise a selected number of
articles from 19 EU Directives and Regulations which are applicable to farmers.
They cover environmental, public, plant and animal health (including
identification and registration of animals) and from 2007, animal welfare
objectives. Member States have no flexibility over the introduction of the
SMRs, and the first tranche dealing with environmental and animal identification
and registration legislation came into force on 1st January 2005 and
the second trance covering public, animal and plant health, and notification of came
into force in January 2006.
In January 2007 a further three SMRs covering animal welfare came
into force. Details of these SMRs were published in a supplement to the cross
compliance handbook which was circulated to all farmers towards the end of last
Where farmers fail to meet cross compliance standards, their direct
payments will be subject to reduction or exclusion according to the severity of
the failure, as required by the EC Regulations.
Member States do have some limited flexibility to define GAEC
standards within a framework set out in the Council Regulation. This offers some
scope for national or regional discretion, but this is limited to the setting of
requirements which avoid land abandonment, protect soils and maintain habitats (PRoWs
are included under this).
The new GAEC standards have been developed in close liaison with
the industry and stakeholders including a full public consultation, and set
simple, common sense standards for farming practice. Many of them reinforce
existing law or codify existing guidance but some do deal with new topics that
have not been traditionally regulated e.g. the management of soil.
The Member States are also required to monitor and maintain 2003
levels of permanent pasture. In the unlikely event that there is a
large conversion of pasture to other crops, we will be required to introduce a