11 November 1998
Sewel to fight CAP payment ceilings

LORD SEWEL, the Scottish agriculture minister, vowed to fight plans for payment ceilings and labour unit penalties in the current Agenda 2000 proposals for reform of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).

Lord Sewel told the Crops Scottish conference in Perth that the Government was lobbying hard against some what it saw as problems for Scottish farmers.

David Jack, chairman of Scottish Quality Cereals, was unimpressed, and pointed out that, while the minister asked farmers to look ahead to better times five years or so away, working farmers were depressed because they couldnt see the way forward even for the next few months.

Farmers were urged at the conference to ensure that the increasing focus on the environmental side of farming did not find the industry unprepared. Danish agriculture adviser Jakob Kjaersgaard said it was important to acknowledge that society had a right to question agricultural methods. Danish farmers had made a mistake in turning their backs on the environmental debate, he said.

  • The Herald 11/11/98 page 27