Scottish farmland©Viewpoint/Rex Shutterstock

The new CAP support package is overly bureaucratic and not fit for purpose, NFU Scotland has claimed.

Union vice-president Rob Livesey said the current CAP deal was “akin to fitting a square peg into a round hole”.

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He made the claim during a briefing at the Balmoral Show in Northern Ireland. 

“Everyone knows the current CAP is overly bureaucratic. Attempts have been made before to have the levels of red tape confronting farmers reduced, but to no avail,” Mr Livesey said.

“The only difference this time around is the fact that [EU agriculture commissioner] Phil Hogan will lead a simplification debate. He is an Irish politician with a real grasp of the challenges farmers face throughout the UK and Ireland. So let’s hope he can really deliver on this issue.”

Mr Livesey also used his speech to express concern at the state of the UK’s cattle and sheep markets.

“I am deeply worried about the recent slide in lamb prices. And the union is striving to find out why this is happening.

“Where beef is concerned, currency is definitely an issue. The weakening of the euro has made Irish beef more competitive on the UK market,” he said.

But Mr Livesey said cattle numbers traditionally started to fall off at this time of the year.

“This should have more than compensated for the currency issue. These are deeply challenging times for beef and sheep producers,” he said.