Union bosses ratchet up pressure over CAP

NFU president Nigel Miller
NFU president Nigel Miller

FARMING leaders last week increased pressure on politicians over convergence and rolling out the new CAP for 2015.

NFU Scotland president Nigel Miller, Stagehall, Stow said the CAP delivery debate will centre on the scale of payments, the number of regions to be adopted and using coupling to protect vulnerable livestock sectors.

He told AgriScot at Ingliston last Wednesday: “One of the impending choices the Scottish Government must take is on the level of support it wishes to transfer from our direct support (Pillar 1) pot to our rural development programme (Pillar 2).

And he warned: “Scottish Government must remember that targeting our Pillar 1 budget at active producers across all land types will deliver on our rural development goals, be they economic, environmental or social. Shifting significant funds to Pillar 2 and holing our Pillar 1 budget below the waterline risks further undermining our vulnerable sectors.”

He admitted: “The shift to an area-based system could be brutal” but said targeting support to active farmers only and looking at coupled options for vulnerable sectors would get the best out of the new area payment system.

Earlier last week vice presidents Rob Livesey and Alan Bowie and union policy director Jonnie Hall met Defra secretary of state Owen Paterson to lobby for moves towards convergence in the 2017 CAP budget allocation.

The union’s CAP consultation meeting at The Lodge, Carfraemill has been changed to Monday 9 December at 7pm.