TWO OF Scotland‘s leading farmers‘ organisations have rejected the use of a national envelope for the beef sector.

NFU Scotland and the National Beef Association both believe that proposals being modelled by the Scottish Executive will not help beef farmers cope with the move to the new single farm payment.

Originally, the Scottish Executive announced that a national envelope, funded by top-slicing 10% from beef producers‘ support cash, could help maintain quality beef supplies and keep cattle in remote areas.

But NFUS says the options being considered by the Scottish Executive, which revolve around a combination of payments on all calves, with a higher payment for the first 20 or 30 animals, would lead to more bureaucracy and reduced funding.

Only a fair price will keep producers in beef production for the long term, the union maintains.

John Bell, chairman of the NBA in Scotland, agrees. “The future of the beef industry can only be secured if income reductions triggered by the removal of direct headage payments are immediately countered by a substantial rise in market prices,” he said.