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CAP To Take Priority in 2013

NFU Scotland’s officeholders have used the Union’s annual report and its Christmas press briefing to reinforce the message that securing a CAP Reform deal to secure the future of the industry in Scotland is its priority for 2013.

Speaking to the press in Edinburgh today (Tuesday, 18 December), the Union’s President, Nigel Miller and Chief Executive, Scott Walker both laid out the resources NFU Scotland plans to commit to the CAP Reform process as it gathers momentum in 2013.  In January of next year, the Union will use the round of regional AGMs to discuss its latest modelling work and CAP Reform options with the wider membership.

The Union enters 2013 – its Centenary year – in good heart.  Membership is stable and the annual accounts show a profit for the year before gains on exceptional items of £45.511.

Speaking in Edinburgh, Scott Walker said:

“Reform of the CAP seems like a perennial issue for NFU Scotland.  If we are not involved in discussing what the next reform will be, we are shaping the previous reform or working with Government in its implementation.  But given CAP’s huge importance in supporting Scotland’s farmers, crofters and growers, reform is a job NFUS must get right every time.

“Despite budgetary delays, 2013 is still expected to be the critical year for decisions on the CAP.  That process starts in January with the Irish taking over the presidency of the EU and in February there will be another ‘extraordinary’ European Council for the leaders of Member States to agree a European budget. An agreement on the budget is critical to progress being made on CAP.

“There is reasonable expectation that a deal on the CAP will still be achieved during the Irish presidency.  There won’t be enough time to implement new rules by 2014 so we expect changes in direct support arrangements for Scotland’s farmers to commence from 2015 onwards.

“The level of debate and discussion in Scotland means we are well prepared.  As a Union, we have already nailed down our top 12 priorities for a CAP deal and we will go into negotiations with Scottish Government, Westminster and Brussels on that basis.   The direction of travel is looking good but we will not rest until the final deal is done.”  

Speaking on the controversial area of greening, an element of the proposals that could see up to 30 percent of available support only delivered to businesses if certain environmental requirements are met, Nigel Miller said:

“Our international conference on greening at the end of April gave impetus to a more flexible approach to this worrying aspect of CAP proposals and built relationships that are starting to deliver dividends as negotiations move forward.  

“With both Scottish Government and Defra active in driving new options, we have got a number of significant concessions on greening proposals and are becoming more positive that green measures that are workable in Scotland can be secured.

“That is a positive development as securing a good CAP deal in Europe in 2013 will set up Scottish agriculture for the next seven years. We want a CAP framework to underpin our established industry and also to provide support for a new generation.”  

Notes to Editors

  • NFU Scotland’s top 12 priorities for CAP Reform negotiations are (in no particular order) :
  1. Getting the best budget deal.
  2. Seeking convergence of payments.
  3. Getting area-based payments right. 
  4. Focusing on active farmers.
  5. Having the option of coupled support.
  6. Protecting more disadvantaged areas.
  7. Putting the next generation on an even footing.
  8. Maximising the time to adjust.
  9. Paying support out with certainty.
  10. Simplifying cross-compliance.
  11. Building an official advisory service
  12. Greening that is practical.
  • Copies of NFU Scotland’s Annual Report and Annual Accounts are available on request.  These will be delivered to members at the end of December along with the January edition of the Union’s membership magazine, Scottish Farming Leader.

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth/Sarah Anderson on 0131 472 4006 or 4108
 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 150/12


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