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Union welcomes MP Conclusions on CAP Reform

NFU Scotland has welcomed the conclusions of an influential Westminster committee of MPs following the publication of the committee’s report looking into the planned reform of Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRAC) has set out the key principles the UK Government and DEFRA should adopt in its negotiations for reform of the CAP after 2013.  It calls for food production to remain at the core of CAP, recognises the need for continued support for primary producers and slammed the European Commission’s proposed reforms over fears that the current complex and bureaucratic system of direct payments could be replaced by one that may be even worse.

From a Scottish perspective, the Union also welcomes the report’s call for DEFRA to adopt a coherent and effective negotiating position for CAP reform that better reflects the position of devolved administrations.  That was a key point made by NFU Scotland when it submitted written evidence on CAP reform to the committee in late January 2011.

NFU Scotland Vice-President Allan Bowie said:

“We welcome many of the EFRA Committee’s conclusions, particularly that the new CAP should maintain direct payments; mitigate complex compliance regulations; distribute the budget more fairly between Member States and not undermine EU production standards with lower quality imports from third countries.

“It is encouraging that the Committee has acknowledged the additional role of payments to those farming extensively in fragile areas and, importantly, given the distinct nature of Scotland’s landscape and farming industry, the need to recognise the devolved administrations’ positions when formulating the UK’s negotiating position.

“NFUS will continue to feed into the CAP decision-making process at all levels, having held very useful meetings over the past two weeks with EU Commission officials and DEFRA Secretary of State, Caroline Spelman. The future of the CAP is the headline of our manifesto for the Scottish elections as well and we shall work with the new Scottish Government to make sure that they stand up for Scottish farmers on the issue.” 

NOTES TO EDITORS

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 68/11


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