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MSPs Hear of Need to Find Right CAP Deal for Scotland

NFU Scotland has informed an influential committee of MSPs at Holyrood of the importance in securing the right deal for Scotland from the forthcoming reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee, NFU Scotland’s Chief Executive Scott Walker stressed that having CAP continue to underpin agricultural activity is crucial if Scotland is to fulfil its potential for food and drink production.

Speaking after giving his evidence, Scott Walker said:

“It is important at this early stage that we remain focussed on the fact that the whole CAP proposals are critical to the fortunes of Scottish agriculture and the level of agricultural activity that takes place here.

“If CAP reform is to be positive, it is vitally important that we recognise the importance of a sound primary production base to the whole of Scotland’s food and drink sector and our ambitious food and drink strategy.

“I welcome the early engagement of MSPs in gathering views on reform of the CAP.  We would be keen to see broad support for the principles behind what CAP should deliver at this stage and, if possible, avoid getting bogged down in implementation issues too soon in the process.

“There certainly appeared to be agreement round the table on the importance of CAP, the need to secure a fair support allocation for Scotland and that ‘greening measures’ while possibly acceptable in principle at this stage still require much work in getting the detailed implementation correct on crop diversity, permanent pasture and ecological focus areas, otherwise these measures could have a severe negative effect on what we produce.

“The MSPs were very engaged in what impact CAP Reform could have for agriculture and our food and drink industry.  There was a strong desire to secure a support system appropriate for Scotland and I look forward to the debate when the committee holds discussions in the future with UK ministers and our own Scottish Cabinet Secretary for rural affairs, Richard Lochhead.”

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

 

 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 186/11


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