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Union Calls for CAP Focus on Outcomes

A delegation of Union officials pushed for more CAP implementation detail during a private meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment, Richard Lochhead MSP this morning.

Meeting in Inverurie, NFU Scotland’s President, Nigel Miller; Chief Executive, Scott Walker; and Director of Policy, Jonnie Hall, discussed the Scottish Government’s final implementation plans for the delivery of direct support (Pillar 1) and rural development (Pillar 2) from 1 January 2015.

Whilst the Scottish Government has committed itself to finalising a delivery plan next month, NFU Scotland has warned that detailed decisions should not be rushed through to the detriment of active farmers and crofters. Through discussions with the Cabinet Secretary and his officials, the delegation highlighted that an urgent resolution must be found to support producers operating within the rough grazing region (RGR) – which could be close to three million hectares in size.  

NFU Scotland has for some time suggested that a flat-rate payment across the RGR could potentially decimate a number of genuinely active businesses whilst redirecting money to non-active units and opening up a new generation of ‘slipper farmers’.   NFU Scotland’s President covered the RGR issue in his regular website blog this week - http://www.nfus.org.uk/news/view-from-the-top/presidents-blog

The delegation discussed the matter with the Cabinet Secretary, stating that the problem will be combatted by the Scottish Government recognising the hugely diverse nature of the region and enforcing a robust activity requirement to ensure genuinely active farmers are rewarded, as well as a safety net for those active farmers falling below this level.

NFU Scotland has welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to providing eight per cent coupled support for the beef sector, and the delegation also discussed the mechanics of the future beef calf scheme. Turning to the non-RGR land, the delegation set down a marker that Scotland must push arable and grassland payments towards parity with the other constituent parts of the UK.

President of NFU Scotland, Nigel Miller, said:
“It was good to have the opportunity to discuss the detail with the Cabinet Secretary this morning. As we move into the end game we need to stay focused and prioritise outcomes despite CAP fatigue.

“NFU Scotland maintains that the outcomes must reward active producers; avoid damaging redistribution of support and must not drag new money into the hills from low ground regions where budgets are already cut. We are keen that a positive outcome is secured through our ongoing dialogue with Cabinet Secretary Lochhead and his officials.”  

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 85/14


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