2015-04-17   facebook twitter rss

Scottish Beef Scheme Shows Value in Coupled Support

NFU Scotland has welcomed the Scottish Government's announcement that the last payments to be made under the current Scottish Beef Scheme will start arriving in beef farmers’ bank accounts from Wednesday 15 April.

The Scottish beef scheme payments will see just under £21 million go to 7600 Scottish farmers who keep beef cows.  While a weaker exchange rate means a lower funding pot than last year, the number of beef calves successfully claimed under the scheme is up by around 5500 to just under 411,000 – an encouraging sign for future beef production.

Highland Cows suckling Whitebred Shorthorn cross calves

Highland Cows suckling Whitebred Shorthorn cross calves

For 2015/16, two new beef coupled support scheme will be introduced – one for mainland beef calves and one for island-born beef calves.

Coupled support has been an important prop to the Scottish beef sector, helping to stabilise production, secure throughput for the abattoir sector and underpin the Scotch beef brand.  The Union argued strongly and successfully for coupled support to remain a feature of Scotland’s new CAP.

NFU Scotland Livestock Committee Chairman Charlie Adam, who keeps beef cows at Braeside, near Alford in Aberdeenshire said:
“With beef production the cornerstone of Scottish agriculture, these figures highlight the benefits delivered by targeted, coupled support to our iconic Scotch beef sector.

“We want to see Scottish beef cow numbers stabilise and recover. With that aim in mind, we successfully argued for voluntary coupled support to mainland and island calves to be a feature of new CAP scheme rules for 2015 onwards.

 “The Scotch beef brand enjoys a domestic and international reputation for taste, quality and traceability and its future is worth safeguarding through such schemes.”

NFU Scotland

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