The questions at our CAP surgery yesterday ranged from the very general to the highly specific. Some people just wanted a general update on what’s happening in the negotiations. Others asked about their individual situation: will I be eligible for entitlements on the farm I bought in autumn 2011? Or, what happens to my five year agri-environment contract after the end of 2013?
So far today at the Royal Highland Show I’ve been with Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead at a few meetings with stakeholder groups, like NFUS and the new Scottish Beef Association. It feels like stakeholders’ views are crystallising around more specific points than previously. If I’m right, that will be helpful as we move further along the negotiation timeline.