Scottish beef payments to begin this Friday

Scottish farmers will begin to receive beef payments this Friday through the Scottish beef scheme, it was announced today.

The scheme is worth around £22m to the Scottish beef sector, which will see around 95% producers receiving the payments.

Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said: “The Scottish beef scheme is an important source of funding for our hard-pressed livestock farmers and I’m sure it will be welcome news that payments begin on Friday.”

Lochhead stressed the importance of these payments in the wake of the bad weather, which has left many farmers facing great losses. “I’m sure the support will be particularly welcome this year, and around 7,400 producers will have received their funding by 24 April,” he commented.

Lochhead further claimed the scheme provides an incentive for farmers, who work in some of the more challenging conditions in the country.

“That’s why the failure to secure the level of coupled payments we wanted in the recent talks in Brussels was so disappointing, particularly as the two-tier system being proposed would leave Scotland unable to spend more than 7%, compared to the 12% being offered to other nations. I sincerely hope this is an area that can be addressed in the ongoing CAP reform negotiations,” he added.