MEP for Scotland and member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee Alyn Smith has today (Thursday) addressed an agriculture conference in Friesland, Netherlands, at the Dutch and international centre for research, innovation, education and training in dairy farming.
"It is always useful to get out and about and see successful examples of agricultural practice from across the EU, and sometimes further, and the Dairy Campus in Friesland offers a lot of good examples that we can take back to Scotland. While the retention of direct payments is obviously important for the future of our farming, to secure a long-term future we need to be able to compete in regional and world markets, and innovative techniques will help us do that.
"It is encouraging to see so much interest in Scottish farming, and the Scottish Government position on CAP reform is winning us more friends in Europe than the unrealistic and out-of-touch scorched earth tactics of the coalition in London. From agri-environmental programmes to innovation, we have much to agree on with our colleagues in Friesland, and it is this sort of coalition building which will enable us to get a result out of CAP reform."