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Union Positive on Pack Inquiry Short Term Plans

NFU Scotland has welcomed the positive messages for Scottish farmers unveiled when Brian Pack released the short-term recommendations from his independent inquiry into future support arrangements for Scottish agriculture.

The inquiry is intended to help formulate a Scottish viewpoint ahead of a review of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) scheduled for 2013.

In reporting to the Scottish Government, Mr Pack made recommendations that aim to ensure support is targeted at active producers, that new entrants to farming are brought into the support system at the earliest opportunity, that the existing Scottish Beef calf scheme should be continued and that the current historic basis for paying Single farm payment should continue until 2013.  The Scottish Government will now consider the recommendations.

Speaking at the Highland Show, NFU Scotland President Jim McLaren said:

“Brian’s initial recommendations have sent out a very positive message and his vision on future support arrangements for Scotland largely chime with those of the Union.

“Bringing new entrants and those expanding their farming operation into the current support arrangements is high up on our list of priorities and Brian has recommended a rapid solution to that in 2013, irrespective of whether we have a long or short transition to a new Single Farm Payment Scheme after that date.  He has also proposed more favourable arrangements under the Rural Priorities scheme that will hopefully provide a boost to those who see their future in our industry.

“The whole issue of ensuring support is received by those making a genuine contribution to Scotland’s food and farming sector has had the whole industry searching for a solution.  Brian’s recommendation that looks at stocking densities is a good start point with flexibility built in that those who may not meet the stocking criteria but are found to be active farmers under inspection will continue to receive their support.

“Similarly, those found under inspection to be undergrazing will have the opportunity to rectify the situation if they wish to continue receiving their SFP.  Brian’s views have mapped out a route that we could start addressing the whole activity issue from 2011 and that is most welcome.

“Brian also made it clear he wishes the Scottish Beef Calf Scheme to continue beyond 2012.   We will go back to our members and committees on this, ask if they want the scheme to continue and, if they do, who should be the recipients of the funds.

Notes to Editors

  • Cabinet Secretary outlined a review of farm support in Scotland in particular Single Farm Payments (SFP) to be chaired by Brian Pack OBE in his statement to Parliament on 10 June 2010.
  • 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 is crucial for the future of farming in Scotland.
  • The timing of this 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.

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 99/10


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