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Beef Support Welcome Relief for Winter-Worn Farmers

- Farm union welcomes imminent payments to sector   -

Scotland’s leading farming organisation, NFU Scotland has welcomed today’s Scottish Government announcement that support payments for beleaguered beef farmers are imminent.

Farmers should begin to receive Scottish Beef Scheme payments from this Friday 19 April, with 95 % of payments due to be completed by Wednesday 24 April. The support, totalling £22 million, will boost a sector which is vital to Scotland’s rural economy but is struggling in the wake of extreme weather and high input costs.

NFU Scotland’s livestock policy manager, John Sleigh said:

“NFU Scotland wholly welcomes the announcement that these vital payments are imminent; this support could not have come at a better time. A prolonged and ferocious winter means that across Scotland, farmers are unable to get their cattle out to grass and are having to buy in extra, expensive feed. This is leaving many producers struggling to make ends meet.

“Scotch Beef is one of the biggest jewels in Scottish agriculture’s crown and deservedly so. It enjoys a domestic and international reputation for taste, quality and traceability and its future must be safeguarded. The Scottish Beef Scheme provides important, coupled support to active beef farmers.

“Targeted coupled support is a highly effective way of making the most of public funds which continue to be squeezed because of austerity measures at home and in the EU. The CAP Reform-driven move from historic- to area-based payments is likely to hit our suckler beef producers, and coupling is a useful mitigating tool for which NFUS will continue to fight.”     

NOTES TO EDITORS

•    Payment Rates for Scottish Beef Scheme 2012

News Release 53-13

(exchange rate is €1=£0.7980392)

Ends

Contact Sarah Anderson on 0131 472 4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 53/13


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