NFU Cymru president, Stephen James, had a meeting yesterday (Tuesday, April 19) with RPA England’s chief executive, Mark Grimshaw, to press home the desperate financial situation the majority of cross-border farmers are facing as a result of delays on his side of Offa’s Dyke.
“We told him that Welsh farmers are suffering as a result of the lack of communication between the payment agency in England and its Welsh counterpart, Rural Payments Wales,” said Mr James.
“Farmers are entering the critical period of the 2016 Single Application Form (SAF) completion with many not knowing what has happened with their 2015 application.
“They need to know that the information they submitted 12 months ago ahead of the 2015 deadline has been validated prior to completing their 2016 application form, which needs to be completed ahead of the fast approaching May 16 deadline.
“The Rural Payments Agency in England and RPA Wales must act now and ensure this situation is brought to a conclusion, farmers are given the information needed to complete their 2016 applications and those yet to receive their BPS payment are paid without any further delay.”
In response, Mr Grimshaw said cross border payments were proving complex but gave an assurance on behalf of the Rural Payments Agency in England that it would work to improve communications with RPA Wales in the next BPS application year.