SAVED: PAGE: ACTIVE AREA:

Union Takes to the Road on Less Favoured Areas

NFU Scotland is to hold a series of meetings around Scotland to explain the ongoing changes to the current Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme (LFASS) and also discuss with farmers the future of LFA, particularly in light of ongoing discussions around reform of the CAP.

Almost 85 percent of Scotland is recognised by Europe as being disadvantaged.   This allowed payments under LFASS last year to deliver £64 million to almost 13,000 businesses in these areas.  New rates were introduced to the fragile and very fragile areas last scheme year and 2011 will see new rates introduced for producers in the standard LFA areas.

The current debate around CAP Reform has also opened up discussion on how LFA support might be delivered in the future.  LFA funding at a European level is delivered as part of the rural development pot, known as Pillar 2 of the CAP.  Several European documents related to the planned CAP Reform in 2013 have suggested that such funding should be shifted to Pillar 1 – the pot of European funding that currently delivers direct payment schemes such as the Single Farm Payment (SFP).  That is something the Union is minded to oppose.

In addition, NFUS wants to talk with producers about how Europe may actually define Less Favoured Areas in the future.

NFUS Head of Rural Policy, Jonnie Hall, who will be speaking at all 11 meetings said:

“Funding delivered through the LFASS is crucial to a huge number of livestock enterprises across Scotland but with changes to payment rates, discussion on how LFA will be defined and question marks over where LFA support will sit within the CAP architecture, the time is right to go out and speak to members about this lifeline scheme.

“For existing LFASS recipients, a series of changes to payment rates and how the payment will be calculated will mean that their LFASS payments will be changing. Payments will now better reflect activity on farms but those changes will be far from uniform - affecting every claimant in different ways between now and 2013.

“We know how important it is that farmers and crofters are aware of current and future changes to this vital component of support for Scottish agriculture - worth over £60 million annually – and we would encourage them to attend any one of our series of meetings to learn about changes to LFASS and discuss the future of Less Favoured Area support.

Notes to Editors

  • The dates and times of the NFU Scotland LFASS Roadshows are as follows:

Wed 3 November

The Lodge, Carfraemill

7.30pm

Thu 4 November

Shetland Hotel, Lerwick

7.30pm

Mon 8 November

Urr Valley Hotel, Castle Douglas

7.30pm

Tue 9 November

Western House Hotel, Ayr

7.30pm

Thu 11 November

Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness

7.30pm

Mon 15 November

Huntingtower Hotel, Perth

7.30pm

Mon 15 November

The Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall

7.30pm

Thu 18 November

Garfield Hotel, Stepps

7.30pm

Mon 22 November

Ring 2, Thainstone

7.30pm

Fri 26 November

Templar Hall, Tarbert

1.00pm

Fri 26 November

Corran Halls, Oban

7.00pm

  • Members who would like further details can contact NFUS Head Office on 0131 472 4000
  • Members of the media are welcome to attend.   Further details can be obtained from Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006 or Email: bob.carruth@nfus.org.uk

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

 

 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 151/10


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