CAP reform could make matters worse for Scots

By FWi staff

SCOTTISH cereal producers face increasing losses unless Europe recognises the threats which the Commissions proposals for CAP reform would mean for its arable sector.

Speaking in Edinburgh yesterday (Tuesday), Scottish NFU Cereals Committee convenor, Douglas Morrison said that producers have already had a terrible year, and many farms have seen losses of nearly £6000.

Growers already losing money can expect to see a further decline if these proposals are not changed, warned Mr Morrison. “Theyre just not sustainable.”

Under the new proposals, the amount of compensation could only go halfway towards funding the difference of low world prices, said Mr Morrison.

Cereal prices are on the floor, and our overvalued Pound makes things worse, he said.

“We had been looking forward to a future when production-based payments would come to an end. This is likely in the policy system which must follow after these reforms.

“We need something compatible with future trade liberalisation rules, and which maintains a living for Scottish growers,” said Mr Morrison.

Without proper compensation for price cuts, and with proposals for further reductions in support, they form a recipe for despair, he warned.

“These proposals totally ignore the realities of cereal production in Scotland. Our costs of production are much higher than in the south east of England, primarily due to the shorter growing season in Scotland and our weather,” stressed Mr Morrison.

He also claimed that input costs were higher and that the harvest is often disrupted by wet weather leading to expensive drying charges.

“If our needs are ignored, many Scottish growers may look for another livelihood.”

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