NFUS getting views on future policy plans across, says chief

Andrew McCornick

The chief of Scotland’s farming union says he is confident the views of Scottish farmers and crofters have been put forward to politicians ahead of the publication of an Agriculture White Paper in early 2018.

NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick says the union is providing solutions for future agricultural policy to government and “filling a vacuum” in terms of future policy plans.

“They (government) do not have a credible alternative in place. If we keep pushing this (union message) and they put it in place, it makes their job easier,” said Mr McCornick.

“Mundell said after the Brexit vote ‘tell us what you want’ and that’s what we are doing.”

He said the union’s future policy priorities, which are set out in its CHANGE document, had been widely supported by its membership during a series of Brexit roadshows across Scotland earlier this year.

“There was overwhelming recognition that future support must incentivise action and that, beyond the Common Agricultural Policy (Cap), there should be a clear departure form area-based payments that have often resulted in inertia, thwarted innovation and stifled restructuring,” said Mr McCornick.

Going forward into 2018, Mr McCornick said the union would continue lobbying politicians at Holyrood, Westminster and Brussels.

“Our engagement with politicians at UK and Scottish government level has never been higher and that will build as we enter 2018,” he added.