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Union Welcomes Announcement of LFASS Loan Scheme and Requests Certainty over Future Support

NFU Scotland welcomes the announcement from the Scottish Government of a loan scheme for LFASS 2018, delivering vital support to farmers and crofters this April.

An announcement by the Scottish Government that it will once again put in place a loan scheme to deliver 90% of payments under the Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme (LFASS) is welcome news for Scottish farmers and crofters at an uncertain time for Scottish agriculture.

The Scottish Government made the announcement on the eve of NFU Scotland’s AGM and Conference which will take place on Thursday 7 February and Friday 8 February in Glasgow.  Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing will address delegates on Friday morning.

At a time of challenging market returns and significant uncertainty over Brexit, Scottish farmers and crofters want the Scottish Government to maintain the £65 million LFASS budget for the 2019 and 2020 claim years, recognising the regulatory challenges to deliver this crucial element of support.

NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said: “This support, via the national loan scheme which will be delivered in April, is critical to ensuring that farmers and crofters can continue to deliver for rural Scotland –providing jobs and opportunities. LFASS support is a key injection of cashflow in to our remote communities, driving growth and tackling the causes of rural depopulation.

“Loan offers will be sent out in batches with the first batch being sent out on 1 March. It’s important that farmers and crofters opt in if they want timely delivery of the support due via LFASS.

“This comes after the Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing attended a meeting of our Less Favoured Areas (LFA) Committee in January and committed to working towards protecting the £65 million budget of LFASS in future scheme years. This welcome commitment came after tireless and continuous work from our LFA Committee.

“This week, the Cabinet Secretary will address delegates at the NFU Scotland conference in Glasgow and representatives from communities across Scotland, from Shetland to Stranraer, will want to hear the Scottish Government deliver certainty on it’s ambition to retain this budget for 2019 and 2020 scheme years – with support to be delivered in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

“NFU Scotland remains utterly committed to securing sensible changes to future support, including support to the Less Favoured Areas.”

Notes to editors


The Union’s AGM, Conference and Council meeting will take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow, G2 8DL on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 February 2018.

The timetable for Day One of the two-day programme is as follows:

  • 10.15am - 10.50am: AGM, auditors’ report, re-appointment of auditors and report from the Chief Executive on new membership initiatives from NFU Scotland
  • 10.50am - 11.20am: Presidential Address.  This ‘State of the Union’ address from President Andrew McCornick will see him report on the historic times that Scotland’s farmers and crofters find themselves farming in and the priorities of the Union in the year ahead.  
  • 11.20am - 12.20pm: Pests, predation and policy.  A discussion on policies around managing wildlife and how that is impacting on farmers and crofters.  Speaking will be Alastair MacGugan, Wildlife Management Manager with SNH and farmers Patrick Sleigh and David Colthart.
  • 12.20pm - 12.30pm: Your health is your wealth - part one.  Gary Mitchell, outgoing NFUS Vice President on health and well-being.
  • 1.30pm – 1.50pm: Your health is your wealth – part two.  Post-lunch Gary Mitchell concludes his look at health and well-being.
  • 1.50pm - 2.40pm: Food production - delivering more but impacting less with Paul Temple, AHDB Board Member and Chairman of the UK Voluntary Initiative and Davy McCracken, Professor of Agricultural Ecology and Head of Hill & Mountain Research Centre.
  • 2.40pm – 3.15pm: Putting primary producers at the heart of supply chains with Julie Poirot, Deputy Agricultural Counsellor for the United Kingdom, Ireland and Netherlands (French Embassy in the UK) who will discuss food chain initiatives in France.
  • 3.35pm – 4.10pm: Exports – the opportunity that awaits! With Jeff Grant, New Zealand Red Meat Sector Representative based in London.
  • 4.10pm – 4.45pm: What do the public want from Scotland’s farmers and crofters? With Francesca Osowska - Chief Executive of Scottish Natural Heritage

The timetable for Day Two of the two-day programme is as follows:

  • 8.45am – 9.45am: Election of Vice Presidents. The two Vice President positions will be contested by current Vice President Martin Kennedy, current Livestock Committee Chair Charlie Adam and current Combinable Crops Committee Chair Ian Sands.
  • 9.45am – 10.45am: UK: A nation United with a single farm policy.  In a show of unity, President Andrew McCornick will be joined at the top table by Terry Jones, Director General, NFU; John Davies, President, NFU Cymru and Ivor Ferguson, President, Ulster Farmers ‘Union and the UK’s farming unions map out their post-Brexit vision for the nation’s farmers.
  • 11.15 – 12.15: The formal proceedings are brought to a close with the annual speech to the NFUS AGM and conference by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing MSP.

If media would like to attend, please contact Ruth McClean on 07920 018619, Bob Carruth on 07788 927675 or Douglas Ross on 07823 556253 or email: media@nfus.org.uk for further details.  

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006


Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 08/19


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