NFUS Backs Pledge to Support Active Farmers


Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead, has announced today (9 August) his approval of short-term recommendations from the Brian Pack-led inquiry into farm support.

Introducing new rules should help ensure that only truly active farmers receive support payments.

Following the announcement from Mr Lochhead, NFU Scotland President Jim McLaren said:

“The industry in Scotland has been pressing for a change in the Single Farm Payment (SFP) eligibility rules, to ensure only active farmers can claim support payments.

“We have been saying for a long time that support should only be received by those who are making a genuine contribution to Scotland’s food and farming sector and we have welcomed the Brian Pack recommendations which have suggested a way to do just that. Mr Lochhead’s approval of these recommendations will go a long way towards addressing the current situation which allows farmers who are doing very little to receive support in the form of the SFP. 

“Now that the broader principles of the recommendations have been agreed upon, we will be working very closely with the Scottish Governement to ensure that the finer details of the activity rules are correct, ahead of the implementation of the active farming rules for the 2011 scheme year.  It is not going to be easy to ensure the system hits the right targets, however the Pack inquiry has outlined a useful way ahead by ensuring there is a minimum level of agricultural management happening on the ground.”

Notes to Editors

  • The inquiry was set up to take a strategic look at farm support and its remit covers both short and long term issues.  The outcome in crucial for the  future of farming in Scotland.
  • The timing of the pack report is designed to enable action on short-term measures for the 2011 Scheme year.  The Inquiry’s main recommendations on future longer-term support for agriculture will be published in October. 



Date Published:

News Article No.: 115/10

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