Views on CAP sought

RURAL Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has launched the online consultation on European agricultural reform proposals.

It is hoped that people will complete as much of the consultation as is relevant to them and paper copies of the consultation are also available for anyone without internet access. The consultation follows a Scotland-wide series of roadshows designed to allow people to find out more about CAP reform.

Commenting, Mr Lochhead said, ““It is vital for Scotland that the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy delivers what we need - a fair, flexible system that targets support at active farmers, allowing them to continue producing quality food and managing our magnificent countryside.

“That’s why we have been engaging extensively to ensure that those who are going to feel the effects of the future CAP have the chance to air their views. I know that many people appreciated the opportunity to have the proposals, and their potential implication for Scotland, explained so clearly.

“The consultation has been designed to make it easy for people to offer their views on the reform proposals, helping to inform future negotiations. It’s available online – in bite-sized chunks - which I hope will encourage more people to participate – as well as in the more traditional format.

Mr Lochhead added that a second, more detailed consultation will take place during the reform process.

Dennis Robertson, local MSP for Aberdeenshire West, added, “The consultation has been designed to make it easy for people to offer their views on the reform proposals. It is available online as well as in the more traditional format.

“Ensuring we get a fair deal for Scotland is crucially important for people living in Aberdeenshire, especially for our farmers and wider rural communities.

“This is a valuable opportunity for people to ensure rural Aberdeenshire views are heard on CAP reform which would have far-reaching consequences for the whole of Scotland.”

Details on how to take part in the online consultation can be found at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/01/7299/4