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EU ‘Crucial’ for Scottish Farming

27 January 2016, at 6:00am

SCOTLAND, UK - Staying in the EU is ‘absolutely crucial’ for the future of Scottish farming, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has said.

It comes after the latest figures show that farm profits continue to be heavily reliant on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies.

The Total Income from Farming Estimates for Scotland 2013 to 2015 also highlight the impact of difficult global trading conditions, particularly in the dairy sector.

Mr Lochhead said: “There can be no doubt that 2015 was a very difficult year for Scottish agriculture. In addition to the impact of extreme weather, global volatility has continued to take its toll on producers’ incomes – particularly in the dairy sector.

“These figures highlight the importance of EU funding to Scottish agriculture. The Common Agricultural Policy is expected to inject more than €4.5 billion into the Scottish economy over this CAP period, and Scottish dairy producers benefited from EU emergency aid last year.

“Europe is also our number one destination for international food and drink exports, with more than two thirds of the food produced here going to the Continent.

“Continued EU membership is therefore absolutely crucial for the future of Scottish farming.

“Scotland needs a fairer share of funding from a simpler and more streamlined CAP with food production at its core. But this must be addressed from within the EU, as it is clearly in the best interests of Scottish farming to stay in Europe.”

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