NFU Scotland is urging its members to send a clear message to Scottish Government by demanding a managed transition when new CAP rules come into force next year.
With decisions on support scheme implementation imminent, the Union is adamant that for established businesses, a transition period for the move from historic to area-based payments will offer the chance to adjust. By comparison, an overnight shift straight to area payments runs the risk of undermining Scotland’s production base.
While a managed transition would be welcomed by established businesses, the Union has repeated its assertion that for those unfairly locked out of the previous regime - for example new entrants - the national reserve must deliver full area payments from year one.
NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker said: “NFU Scotland considers that a transition period to the new support regime is critical. We are calling on all Scottish farmers currently receiving direct support to sign the petition, support a managed transition and say no to a single step change in farm payments.
“We are well aware that the move from historic support to area based support will see many existing farm businesses suffer big reductions in support. All sectors will be affected but the beef, dairy and general cropping sectors are most at risk, yet it is these sectors that are the foundation of Scotland’s food and drink sector.
“Even if established farm businesses survive, an overnight change in support would impact heavily on the wider rural economy, jobs and processing.
“A managed transition period is the best way to protect production, the economy and employment. We are calling on Scottish farmers to sign this petition and send a clear message to the Scottish Government that farmers need a period of transition and that the new support system must be brought in over a period of time.
“While a managed transition is best for established businesses, we have always maintained that for those unfairly locked out of the previous regime, the national reserve must deliver full area payments from year one.”