Union Encourages Dairy Farmers To Join Pack Debate

SCOTLAND, UK - National Farmers' Union (NFU) Scotland’s influential Milk Committee, following its meeting this week, is encouraging fellow Scottish dairy farmers to get engaged in the current debate surrounding the future delivery of farm support in Scotland.
calendar icon 1 February 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

The initial findings of an independent inquiry into the delivery of agricultural support, produced by leading industry expert Brian Pack and his inquiry team, was published last week. Since then, the inquiry team has been attending a number of public meetings around the country to discuss its proposals and a final report is expected to be presented to the Scottish Government in late spring.

Speaking after this week’s meeting, milk committee chairman Jimmy Mitchell said: “Having discussed this issue at some length, it is clear that the outcome of the Pack inquiry process could be hugely influential on the prosperity of the Scottish dairy sector. The number of dairy farms in Scotland continues to shrink and it is important to the future of the Scottish dairy industry and local economies that any reform of support has the ambition of bringing that decline to a halt.

“While the model in Brian Pack’s interim report of an area-based payment is just an illustration, it does demonstrate that there is the potential for redistribution of funds away from productive dairy units. Therefore, the role of a top-up fund, as also discussed in the interim report, could be key in avoiding any further destabilisation of the dairy sector.

“It is vital that the Pack inquiry hears of the potential impact on the dairy sector - direct from those more used to the milking parlour - to ensure the report's desire to support all productive agriculture is mirrored in the suggested future payment model. This is an issue that, at first read, requires revisiting and I would urge all dairy farmers to examine the interim report and ensure their views are heard by attending their local meeting or, if a member, passing on their comments to the Union as part of our response.

“The feedback from those open meetings that have already taken place is that the interim report is a good starting point for the debate and that Brian Pack is open to suggestions on how we best deliver support to farmers post-CAP reform in 2013. In his report, the ingredients of a justifiable scheme are there and I urge fellow dairy farmers to take the time to study the proposals and respond.”

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