NFU Scotland Sets Out its Brexit Commitments
NFU Scotland has drawn up a list of commitments it wants governments to address, as the lengthy process of negotiating an exit from Europe a replacement farming policy for the CAP begins.
Following a meeting of NFU Scotland’s Board of Directors, President Allan Bowie said: ““Even though we are at a very early point in what is likely to be a lengthy process, it is important that we set out what we consider are the priorities for the negotiations.
“It is in everyone’s interests that Scotland has a successful farming sector and that the negotiated future trading relationship with Europe and the rest of the world results in a profitable and competitive agricultural industry in Scotland.
In its statement, the Union says that in order to ensure we have a thriving agricultural industry that supports the rural economy, as well as the food and drink industry across Scotland, it needs the UK Government, the Scottish Government and all in the supply chain to give their commitment to deliver the following package:
- The next four rounds of payments must be delivered as planned, and as budgeted for by farmers and crofters. This will provide an anchor of stability in uncertain times and ensure that there is a confident platform on which to negotiate future trading and domestic support arrangements.
- Future deals on tariffs and market access must ensure that we have a strong and vibrant domestic farming industry. In negotiating trading relationships with Europe and the rest of the world, farming must not be used as a bargaining chip.
- Continued recognition of the Scotch beef and Scotch lamb PGIs must be secured.
- The trading arrangements negotiated with Europe and the rest of the world must allow all the workers that the Scottish farming and the food processing industries rely upon to continue to play their vital role.
- Overly prescriptive bureaucratic requirements carried by Scottish agriculture that add costs but deliver no added value must be removed, to allow farming to be competitive.
- All decisions relating to the use of pesticides, herbicides and new technologies must be based on science. A risk, rather than a hazard or precautionary-based approach, is needed.
- The promotion of Scottish food and drink in export markets must be prioritised. Scottish agriculture’s world class products can grow exports, thereby supporting economic activity and jobs in Scotland.
- Effective advisory services, practical research, tailored education, meaningful knowledge transfer, and measures that support innovation are required to drive efficient and profitable agricultural production in Scotland.
- Public bodies, governments and local authorities must all adopt food procurement policies which prioritise sourcing food that is produced locally and sustainably in Scotland.
- Clear and unambiguous country of origin labelling (COOL) on meat, meat products, milk and dairy products must be delivered as soon as possible.
Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006
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