NFU Scotland backs Lyon report on CAP reform

NFU Scotland has welcomed a report from Scottish MEP George Lyon placing European agriculture and the Common Agricultural Policy at the core of how Europe should meet the emerging challenges posed by food security and climate change.

Published earlier this week, the Liberal Democrat's report will be dealt with by the EU Parliamentary agricultural committee.

The report focuses on the need to retain the financial core of the CAP budget.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

NFUS president Jim McLaren said: "The CAP has, for more than half a century, delivered a good deal for European farmers and consumers.

"It requires the retention of its core budget to help meet the twin challenges of food security and climate change, to be effective."

McLaren also concurred with Lyon's view that the CAP should continue to be delivered centrally from Europe with no re-nationalisation.

"The paper recognises that food security remains the central challenge for EU agriculture and with population growth likely to prompt a doubling of worldwide food demand by 2050, Europe cannot afford to rely on other parts of the world to provide our food security. We must seek to ensure that a properly funded CAP continues to support farmers in the vital job of producing our food requirements."

The union leader also recognised the view put forward by Lyon that "activity" had to be recognised and rewarded.

"While NFUS would agree with need for a period of transition after reform in 2013, we need to ensure that anomalies, such as the eligibility of new entrants for support payments, are addressed at the earliest opportunity," he said.

The Lyon report was also welcomed by rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead, who said: "In line with the Pack Inquiry interim report, this report argues for the continuation of a CAP that is strong, fair, rewards active farmers, compensates farmers producing in disadvantaged areas and contributes to the development of viable and dynamic rural communities.

"This report highlights the need for Scotland to have a strong negotiating position for the debate ahead. That is why we set up the Pack Inquiry to ensure that we are well placed to argue for what is best for Scotland."