Scottish and Irish Unions Unite in CAP Budget Call

by 5m Editor
30 May 2012, at 10:15am

SCOTLAND & IRELAND - In a bilateral meeting between NFU Scotland and the Irish Farmers Association, both Presidents called on their respective Governments and MEPs to ensure that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget for both the Single Farm Payment (SFP) and Rural Development Programmes is secured for the next financial term.

The meeting, which took place in Edinburgh on 28 and 29 May, saw both organisations agree that CAP budget decisions must be concluded as soon as possible to allow discussions on the actual package to progress.

NFU Scotland President, Nigel Miller said: "It is critical that EU heads of Government send a clear message of support for a common agricultural policy that has served EU consumers and farmers well and which underpins growth and economic viability of rural communities across Europe."

In relation to changes proposed to SFP post-2013, both organisations agreed that the CAP must continue to provide a structure that supports active farmers and that change needs to be over a timeframe that does not disrupt farm production.

The parties also stressed that the CAP needs to support food production and that this can best be done with the option of up to 10 percent of SFP remaining coupled to production at farm level and the creation of a national reserve fund. Available support across Europe should also extend into crisis management measures able to help sectors cope with any unforeseen volatility in markets in the future.

Both NFUS and IFA were highly critical of the current greening elements of Commissioner Ciolos’ CAP proposals, describing them as being unworkable and over-bureaucratic.