I was on my travels last week, to Glasgow and Inverness. I’ve got a new Scottish Government laptop, and the rail journey home from Glasgow gave me the opportunity to test it out with on-train WiFi. I’m hoping that I can stop carrying around great heaps of paper in future – although it remains to be seen whether I can discipline myself to ditch my faithful dog-eared CAP regulation texts, and rely solely on electronic versions!
I’d been in Glasgow to speak on CAP reform at the Rural Law Conference. We spend a lot of time thinking about and talking to farmers, but there’s a whole other community of folk who need to know all about the CAP – the professionals who advise and work with farm businesses.
In Inverness the following day I was with the Minister for the Environment and Climate Change (and crofting), Paul Wheelhouse, for meetings with NFU Scotland’s Highlands and Islands Committee, and the Crofting Commission. Naturally there was particular interest in the proposals for crofter and small farmer grants in the new SRDP.
But the biggest news of the week was the decision to extend the deadline for responses to the consultation exercise on Pillar 1 Direct Payments. So those of you who haven’t responded now have until the 28th to do so.