Farming meeting on CAP reforms

Farmers in Aberdeenshire will get the chance to find out about vital European proposals to reform the Common Agricultural Policy at a meeting in Inverurie next month.

Senior Scottish Government officials will chair a series of roadshows which start on December 6 in Perth and take in thirteen venues from Shetland and Skye to Lanark and Lauder.

The Inverurie meeting takes place on December 7 at the Thainstone Exchange, at 7.30pm.

After officials have outlined the European Commission proposals, and their likely impact on Scotland, there will be a question and answer session.

Although meetings are being held around the country, to allow as many people as possible to attend, a podcast will also be available for those who are unable to attend a road show.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “We’re determined to get a fair deal for Scotland’s farmers in the current CAP reform negotiations. The formal negotiations have begun in earnest and the Scottish Government is working hard to ensure that Scotland’s voice is heard - both in Brussels and Westminster.

“But it’s also vital that Scottish farmers are kept informed about the progress of the negotiations and have the opportunity to air their views. After all, it’s their livelihoods that will be directly affected.

“That’s why I have outlined a five-point engagement plan for stakeholders and these public meetings are a key part of this process. I hope as many people as possible will take this opportunity to find out about what CAP reform might mean for them. I hope to be able to attend some of the meetings to hear people’s views.”

Farmers throughout Scotland will also receive a letter from Mr Lochhead shortly giving further details about the CAP reform proposals.

The five-point engagement plan includes writing to all farmers explaining what the Commission proposals are, what they mean and what the Scottish Government is doing; a public consultation on he Commission’s proposals and a series of public meetings around Scotland where senior government officials will explain the proposals.

It also includes a new CAP section on the Scottish Government website to keep everyone up-to-date with the latest developments on the CAP negotiations and continuing to work with stakeholders through the Future CAP Stakeholder Group to help inform Scotland’s negotiating position.