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Politics Centre Stage at NFUS Centenary AGM

Leading Scottish and UK politicians will take centre stage when NFU Scotland holds its Centenary AGM at St Andrews on 11 and 12 February.

The line up of political speakers scheduled to address the event includes Defra Secretary of State Owen Paterson; Scottish Secretary of State Michael Moore, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead and Scottish MEP Alyn Smith. Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond will address a drinks reception, sponsored by Tennents.

The political agenda is likely to tackle the issues of huge importance to Scottish food and farming, including progress in the ongoing CAP Reform negotiations and the independence debate.

Speaking on the line up, NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker said:

“As we celebrate 100 years of representation on behalf of Scottish farmers, it is fitting that we have secured such a strong line up of political speakers to address our AGM.

“The union’s lobbying focus runs across three parliaments – Westminster, Holyrood and Brussels – and it is important that all aspects of that work are reflected in the debate we will generate at St Andrews.

“Reform of the CAP is a perennial issue for NFU Scotland; if we are not shaping the next reform, we are discussing the previous reform or working with Government in its implementation.  But given CAP’s importance to Scotland’s farmers, crofters and growers, it is a job NFUS must get right.  

“We have a clear list of priorities of what Scotland want’s to achieve from a CAP deal.  Those have been honed from several years of work involving reviews, meetings and consultation.  Pending an agreement on European budgets, a CAP deal is likely by the summer and now is the time to ensure politicians are onside to deliver for Scottish farming.

“Public support remains fundamental to most farmers’ income, however, what happens in the marketplace is critical. The specific role of Christine Tacon as Groceries Code Adjudicator is being fleshed out in a Westminster Bill and Scottish and UK administrations – as well as the industry - are focusing more than ever on developing potentially lucrative export markets. Scotland’s brand is highly valuable and a large part of that guarantee, our specialist farm assurance scheme, is under the spotlight too.

“No sooner are we likely to have secured a CAP agreement and a Grocery Code Adjudicator Act, than debate around Scotland’s independence referendum in autumn 2014 will kick into gear. Many of our members may not yet have decided what they think about the issue and will welcome the opportunity to question politicians from the different parties.

NOTES TO EDITORS

NFUS AGM 2013 (may be subject to change) – Conference outline

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006
 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 08/13


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