The new Common Agricultural Policy regime in Scotland must support active farmers and maintain coupled support, say leading livestock bodies.
In a letter to Scots farm minister Richard Lochhead, a group of stakeholders comprising the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association, Scottish Beef Association and NFU Scotland, sets out five key priorities for the implementation of the new CAP in Scotland.
The priorities are:
- Support to be targeted at active farmers
- New entrants and businesses, which had been excluded from the historic support system, to be brought on to the area payment system within year one of the reform
- Phased approach to an area-based system, with a partial transition model developed
- Continuation of coupled support – CAP reform deal allows 8% of the UK budget to be used for coupled support. The group is working with the Scottish government to develop an enhanced beef scheme
- Pillar 1 budget should be maintained, and Pillar 2 budget via the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP), which includes Less Avoured Areas support, should focus on carbon efficiency, sustainable livestock production and a flourishing agri-environment.