Cairngorms National Park

View to Braemar

Future of farm subsidies on agenda at Grantown meeting

22nd February 2010

The future of farm subsidies and support is the focus for debate at the next Cairngorms Farmers Forum meeting, which takes place on Tuesday 23 February in Grantown-on-Spey.

Brian Pack chair of the ‘Pack Inquiry’ – which has been set up to look at the future of farm subsidies in Scotland is the meeting’s keynote speaker.

Speaking ahead of the Farmers Forum, Mr Pack who is the former chief executive of Aberdeen & Northern Marts in Inverurie said: “We now have this Interim Report which everyone with an interest is invited to comment on in order to help us shape the final report. It’s important we seek as many different views and as broad a range of evidence as possible. The experiences of farmers living and working in the Cairngorms National Park will obviously be very important.

“Only by engaging in this report can farmers and land managers directly influence the future of farm subsidies and agricultural policy in Scotland.”

Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) Convener David Green is chairing the event. He said: “Farmers, crofters and land managers in the Park help to contribute to the area’s rich biodiversity so it’s important that future policies continue to support and encourage agricultural activities in the Park, especially in upland areas. This will be a very interesting meeting and I look forward to hearing all the viewpoints on this. It’s clearly something that the Park Authority will be keeping a close eye on to try and influence the decision makers to continue to benefit the Cairngorms National Park.”

Also speaking at Tuesday’s meeting will be Peter Cook, a well known and respected independent agricultural consultant and Neil Williams from Ballater in Deeside who is already trying to farm without the Single Farm Payment that so many other farm businesses rely on. Mr Williams will be sharing his experiences to date at the meeting, he said: “With all the uncertainty surrounding the Single Farm Payment it is critical we find ways to secure the future of our businesses.”

The Cairngorms Farmers Forum meeting is being held in the Grant Arms Hotel in The Square in Grantown-on-Spey, starting at 7.30pm. For more information please contact Gordon McConachie at the CNPA on tel: 01479 870574 or email. [email protected]