Scottish CAP detail revealed

10th October 2014

NSA Scottish Region Development Manager George Milne attended a Scottish Government CAP stakeholders meeting today (Friday 10th October) which covered the details of changes under several schemes. Mr Milne provides an update on developments in CAP planning below. 

Scottish Rural Development Plan: The final papers regarding the Scottish Rural Development Plan have now been dispatched to Brussels. The documents contain over 400 paragraphs in relation to the whole scheme. The Scottish Government is due to meet with the European Commission next week to discuss any observations regarding the paper, especially with regard to agri-environment schemes.

Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme (LFASS): There remains uncertainty as to the total approval of the scheme going forward to 2020, however the Scottish Government believes the current scheme will be acceptable. Discussions are due to be updated in November. To clarify the position with regards to payments: 2014 payments to be paid early in 2015 are approved and will go ahead unchanged. 2015 payments to be paid in early 2016 may have to change if the Commission does not accept the current working of the scheme. In line with European requirements, LFASS will be replaced in 2018 with an Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) scheme.

Active Farmers: Added to the negative list are sporting estates, which include shooting, fishing and stalking enterprises, where most of the income is not derived from agricultural activity.

New Area Payments: New area payments are now set to be capped at €600,000, not €500,000 as previously announced by the Government.

Internal Convergence: Scotland has chosen Internal Convergence as the means for adjusting to area from headage payments between 2015 and 2020. Those receiving more than the average area payment will see an annual reduction in their payment of 20% annually until the average is reached. Similarly, those receiving below the average will see a 20% annual increase in their payment until that figure is reached. The first year of change in payments under Internal Convergence will now be 2015. Prior to this we had been notified that it would be 2016.

Voluntary Coupled Support (VCS): We are still awaiting a clear and final paper on VCS in the sheep sector, and I have asked for this to be copied to me as soon as Brussels have agreed the system we’re likely to use in Region Three (poor grazing) . However, what is clear at this point is that payments will be made on the 2015 lamb crop. Sheep that qualify will be ewe hoggs born in 2015 on the holding which have been retained for breeding.

CAP Road Shows: The Scottish Government intends to hold road shows in late October/November across all areas of Scotland to start explaining the detail of the new CAP schemes. Final dates are likely to be announced shortly, and NSA will notify members in the NSA Weekly Email Update to Members.