Ross Finnie tells Scotland's farmers that £296m has been paid out

by 5m Editor
7 March 2006, at 12:00am

SCOTLAND - Ross Finnie, the rural development minister with the Scottish Executive, has said 19,279 producers - representing 91% of all claims - have now received their first instalment of their single farm payment. Mr Finnie was speaking at NFU Scotland’s annual general meeting in St Andrews. He added to date almost £296 million has been paid, which amounts to over 75% of the funds available, excluding the national reserve. Mr Finnie, who has been in charge of rural affairs in Scotland for almost seven years, said during that time built up a good rapport with farmers. “Over the years we have developed a totally different relationship between the industry and the Executive and it is now very much more positive. “At first I sensed that every farmer thought his neighbour was a competitor, but now they have come to regard Holland, Denmark, New Zealand and other countries as the real opposition. “The result is that there is now a much more collaborative approach within the industry,” he said. In his address to the delegates the minister stressed the importance of farming to the Scottish food industry. He said: “Agriculture remains a traditional cornerstone of the rural economy employing directly nearly 5% of the rural workforce as well as supporting many others. Source: FWi

5m Editor