Reform of the CAP

In 2015, the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) period will begin in earnest, with the start of Direct Payments and Scottish Rural Development Programme schemes.

The policy has been updated regularly since it began in 1957 and reform and change are important to help make sure that agriculture and rural communities are given the support they need to respond to the challenges they face now and in the future.

These challenges include a need to feed growing populations, rising production costs and a growing need to protect and enhance the environment for us all to enjoy.

By making the policy more efficient and effective, the reforms aim to simplify the CAP and make it fairer for farmers, rural communities and consumers.

The new policy also includes new rules to make sure only genuinely active farmers are entitled to Direct Payments as well as provide specific support for new entrants, the environment and livestock producers.

Download the CAP 2014-2020 guide

Jonathan Pryce, the Scottish Government's Director for Agriculture, Food and Rural Communities, outlines upcoming reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy and what they mean for you.

27 November, 2014.

Change schedule

Changes to the CAP were initially planned to come into force in 2014, to coincide with the end of 2007-13 funding period.

However, delays in agreement between European ministers, the European Parliament and the European Commission meant that the final package was not finalised until July 2014.

To give member states enough time to put the new rules in place, it was agreed the changes to legislation would come into force on 1 January, 2015.

Since December 2013, we have been working to find the best ways to implement the changes in Scotland and get the necessary systems in place to manage them.