In a speech at the Scottish Agricultural College’s AGM last week, Borders MP Michael Moore backed the retention of direct payments to farmers in Scotland as part of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
The European Commission’s latest proposals for reform of the CAP are due to be presented to the European Parliament this week and Michael Moore insisted that direct payments will remain part of the Policy.
Commenting, Mr Moore said: “We believe that there could come a time when subsidies would not be needed, but we are realistic about the speed at which such a change might be made. It is because the Government understands the needs of UK farmers that we are retaining schemes such as Direct and Less Favoured Area (LFA) Payments which are particularly important in the Borders and Scotland.
“In other areas, the Government is working to support farmers in the battle for fair prices and a more balanced market. Through our Groceries Code Adjudicator, farmers will be able to report unfair practices anonymously and the Adjudicator will hold retailers and processors to the Groceries Supply Code of Practice.
“Here in the Borders, we have a strong farming sector and I want to see our farmers continue to thrive and provide the food, jobs and growth that we need. At the moment, Direct Payments through CAP are vital for this to happen and I will be working with my colleagues in Westminster and Brussels to ensure they remain part of the Policy.”