Vital Information Missing From Cap Debates

Union calls on Scottish Government to reveal plans for National Reserve and transition before EU closes the door

As NFU Scotland opens its series of roadshow meetings with members, it has called on Scottish Government to bring forward vital information around how it plans to introduce key elements of the new CAP package.

For new or developing businesses, uncertainty over both the depth and reach of the National Reserve has yet to be properly addressed by Scottish Government.  At the same time, for established businesses, the lack of clarity over the transition to the new area payment system is eroding confidence in the reform process for a host of farming businesses.

In a strongly-worded letter to Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead, the Union’s President Nigel Miller has called on the minister to instruct his officials to operate in a more transparent manner; bring forward such vital information and allow all interested parties to scrutinise the Scottish Government Blueprint.  

Scottish Government’s current round of farmer meetings presents an opportunity to have a two-way dialogue with claimants to ensure potential flaws are addressed before Europe slams the door on modifications to Scotland’s implementation plan. Time is running out and farmers’ business plans and budgets need to be bolted down.

NFU Scotland has been meeting with members at branch meetings around the country  this week and its series of 11 CAP roadshows, involving the Union’s Director of Policy Jonnie Hall, commences at the Lochter Activity Centre, Oldmeldrum, this evening (5 November).

Speaking ahead of the roadshows, Mr Miller said:
“We accept that the route to CAP implementation in Scotland was always going to be a difficult road and that the change to area-based support payments would be challenging.

“However, the growing frustration felt by new and established businesses is being fuelled by an information vacuum and it is inherent on the Scottish Government to address that by bringing forward the detailed processes and communicate with clarity on the impacts of the new CAP regime.  

“Each week brings us closer to the new package of Pillar 1 support for farm businesses.  Producers will be required to apply to the 2015 Scheme year in May of next year but, at this late stage, many producers remain unable to make crucial business decisions because of the lack of detail. 

“It is now vital that Scottish Government officials operate in a more transparent manner.  They must share the fundamentals of the reform options that are increasingly certain to be implemented.  

“For established businesses, the impacts of the transition process to 2019, as announced by the Cabinet Secretary in June, have to be made clear.  We understand that that the Scottish Government’s original transition plan has been rejected by the European Commission and a new formula has been developed behind closed doors.

“That new formula, as well as the earlier transition models, must be shared so that any implications around the intended ‘soft landing’ for businesses are fully understood.  Any transition approach that front loads extreme change into Year 1 could effectively create a cliff edge for some businesses.

“Richard Lochhead’s commitment to Scotland’s new generation of farmers is well known and appreciated.  NFU Scotland has been clear that it believes that the National Reserve, which may have to be extended, should support those disadvantaged by both the 2005 CAP Reform and the historic reference period 2000-2002.  Some that entered farming before 1999 may also have been disadvantaged by the historic baseline.   New Entrants and developers need to know now how the categories within the new National Reserve are to be defined in order to understand the levels of support they are likely to receive from 2015 onwards.  

“Even at this late stage, the Union would urge Richard Lochhead and his officials to consider modifications to delivery plans if they minimise any significant disadvantage to new or established producers.” 

Notes to Editors

To help guide its members through the complexities of the new CAP, NFU Scotland is holding the following meetings:

2014 DateRegionVenueTime
5 NovemberNorth EastBarn Room, Lochter7.00pm
10 NovemberEast CentralHuntingtower, Perth7.30pm
11 NovemberAyrshireWestern House Hotel7.30pm
12 NovemberForth & ClydeGarfield House, Stepps7.30pm
14 NovemberArgyll & IslandsTarbert Village Hall1.00pm
14 NovemberArgyll & IslandsCorran Halls, Oban7.00pm
17 NovemberDumfries & GallowayUrr Valley, Castle Douglas7.30pm
18 NovemberLothian & BordersThe Lodge, Carfraemill7.30pm
25 NovemberHighlandThistle Hotel Inverness7.30pm
2 DecemberOrkneyAyre Hotel, Kirkwall12.30pm
4 DecemberShetlandLerwick Hotel, Shetland7.30pm
  • If members of the media would like to attend any of the above roadshows please contact Ruth McClean on 0131 472 4108 or email:


Contact Ruth McClean on 0131 472 4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 172/14

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