The Scottish Government has called on Westminster to ensure any emergency funding the EU makes to member states during the Covid-19 crisis will apply to UK producers.
In a letter to Defra Secretary George Eustice, Scotland’s Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said if the UK Government can’t –or chooses not to access such funding – it should provide the devolved administrations with equivalent funds.
He stated: “I seek your commitment to making use of any current or new emergency measures that arise from the European Commission under the Common Market Organisation Regulations during the Transition period and that funding for such measures would be continued at the end of this period as required.”
The dairy and red meat sectors are already under pressure as a result of disrupted markets, leading Mr Ewing to insist all major retailers should help the cash flows of small suppliers by making immediate payments.
He welcomed the decision of all red meat levy bodies to launch a marketing campaign to encourage additional sales and called on Mr Eustice to give Defra’s approval to the plan.