Scottish bodies launch profitability project for farmers

Scottish farmers will be encouraged to ensure their businesses are well-placed and operating profitably, in the face of reduced support payments.

In order to help them, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and the National Farmers’ Union Scotland (NFUS) have launched a new ‘Planning for Profit’ initiative, which will be rolled out over the next 18 months.

According to QMS, the new project will focus on optimising the profitability and competitiveness of livestock and mixed livestock/arable farms, which will be necessary since the recent Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms.

QMS chairman Jim McLaren said: “Our industry has fantastic brands, such as Scotch Beef, which have huge potential for growth in the home and overseas markets, but it is vital we have increased supplies of product to meet that demand.”

He said he was strongly encouraging farmers to take part in the initiative, which would help ensure structured planning across their businesses. “By doing so they can plan for the future, confident that their businesses are well-positioned to grow.”

Meanwhile, Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said he was right behind the initiative and that he, too, would strongly encourage livestock farmers to attend.

He added: “We all know that the next CAP will bring about a shift to area-based payments and, as it looks unlikely that Defra will give Scotland’s farmers the budget allocation they deserve, it’s clear there will be reduced direct support for many farm businesses in Scotland.  
“This will bring obvious challenges to businesses, making it more important than ever for farmers to have a critical look at reducing input costs and maximising efficiency savings. I am pleased to provide funding support to the Planning for Profit programme at such an important time for the livestock industry.”

A series of ‘Planning for Profit’ roadshows, for farmers to attend, will take place in December and January and will be followed by farm visits.