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Farming In Europe

The vote taken in June 2016 will see the UK leave the European Union.  The formal process is expected to begin in March 2017, with decisions on agricultural policy, future support for the sector, trade deals and labour arrangements beginning in earnest from that point.  See more at:

Support levels to the industry have been guaranteed until 2020 - when the existing CAP deal is expected to have concluded and the UK will have negotiated its exit from the EU.

Farming in Scotland has been shaped to a large degree by decisions taken in Europe.  Since the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was established in 1962, the vast majority of support for farming has come from the European Union.

In the aftermath of World War II, the goal of the CAP was to achieve food self-sufficiency and stabilise turbulent agricultural markets.  The goals of the CAP, agreed in the Treaty of Rome, were as follows:

  • To increase agricultural productivity
  • To ensure a fair standard of living for the agricultural community
  • To secure food supply
  • To stabilise markets
  • To provide consumers with reliable supplies of food at reasonable prices.

The CAP budget stands at around €40 billion and the main sectors covered by support in Scotland are cereal, sheep, beef and dairy production.  In addition, the CAP funds a range of Rural Development measures that are not linked to food production.

Whilst the CAP has been the main driver of EU farm policy, an increasing number of environmental and trade directives have also emanated from Brussels, shaping the way Scottish farmers do business.  That is why NFU Scotland has an office in Brussels.



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