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Farmers Meet With Ministers Ahead Of CAP Crunch

NFUS Board underline CAP priorities to Heath and Moore

Members of NFU Scotland’s Board of Directors met with Defra Farming Minister David Heath and Scottish Secretary of State Michael Moore at the Highland Show, Scotland’s annual four-day food and farming event that started at Ingliston near Edinburgh today (Thursday, 20 June).

The CAP Reform debate potentially enters its final phase next week when the council of Ministers meets in Luxembourg. NFU Scotland’s President, Nigel Miller, will be in Luxembourg for that meeting with the possibility that the debate may shift to the European Parliament in Brussels later that week.

NFU Scotland Vice President, Rob Livesey, who chaired today’s meeting said:
“With crunch time on CAP looming, farmers representing every corner of Scotland and all our production sectors have made use of valuable time with these key politicians ahead of the council meeting in Luxembourg next week.

"At our AGM in February, David Heath accepted the importance to Scotland of targeting coupled support to producers hit hardest by the move to an area-based payment system. For both beef and hill sheep, having that option to couple may be key to stabilising and rebuilding our livestock numbers.

“We received reassurances today that the Minister recognises that coupling is a Scottish priority and, while the detail of the CAP scheme has yet to be finalised, confirmation that if coupling is permitted then Scotland will have flexibility in devising its own measures.  We, in turn, asked for Defra’s support in ensuring that Europe will permit coupling and at a level that would make a difference to our crucial livestock sector.

“We also reiterated that flexibility is similarly essential for our arable sector and that greening measures recognise existing systems of production in Scotland and the constraints that climate and geography place on the crops that we can grow.

"We shall meet with Defra Secretary of State Owen Paterson tomorrow (Friday 21 June) at the show and we continue our close and frequent contact with Scottish Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead and his staff too.  That level of political engagement as we approach the end game on CAP is both welcome and necessary.  

“However, as CAP negotiations evolve almost by the day, every opportunity to discuss our impress our key issues face to face is invaluable and having our President Nigel Miller in Luxembourg next week underlines our commitment to securing the best deal for Scotland.

"Away from CAP, the issue of Scotland losing red meat levy money as livestock that have been born and raised here are slaughtered south of the border was also raised. Both Mr Heath and Mr Moore reassured us that there has been significant activity on addressing this subject and that there is a desire to secure a negotiated settlement ahead of the scheduled levy board review.”

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006
 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 84/13


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