The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has reproached the Scottish Government for systematically marginalising crofting in agricultural policy.
“Most of the problems suffered by crofters under the new Common Agricultural Policy seem to stem from the Scottish Government ignoring crofters’ views in favour of the industrial agriculture lobby”, said Vice-chair of the Scottish Crofting Federation, Yvonne White.
“The debacle over having three payment regions, something which the SCF opposed but which was foisted upon us at the last minute by the SNP government, with no public consultation, is causing inestimable problems. But it goes further; indeed, the entire thrust of CAP reform to a fairer and sustainable system has been thwarted by this ‘big farmer’ lobby. For example, a fundamental opportunity to move to an area-based system has been delayed for five years when we could have instigated the change straight away, as other countries have”, Ms White continued. “Even the cabinet secretary for agriculture, Mr Lochhead, has cited ‘industry’ lobbying as one of the reasons payments have been delayed. Scotland has had to create an ever more convoluted payment system to continue defending the indefensible.