SNP MEP Wins Only Scottish Seat On Key EU Food Committee

01 February 2007
"Look Forward To Getting My Teeth Into Food Issues"

The Scots farming industry has received a boost after the EuropeanParliament voted SNP MEP Alyn Smith onto its influential AgriculturalCommittee.

Mr Smith will become the only Scottish MEP to have a full place on thecommittee.

Speaking from Brussels Mr Smith said:

"After spending time working with farmers each summer I am convinced that we must get the best deal for Scotland's farmers in Europe.

"Working on a sheep farm and a dairy farm showed me that industry needs a Scottish voice representing it directly in the Parliament. I'm delighted to have been voted on to this committee.

"The sector is at a crucial stage. The Common Agricultural Policy willbe reviewed next year and discussions are already underway. Scotsfarmers are in trouble, and too often EU rules do not help, they hinder.

"Consumer awareness about the food they eat and where it comes from has never been higher. Food labeling, GMOs, organic production, food miles, animal welfare standards, obesity and international trade are all issues I look forward to getting my teeth into.

"Half of Scotland's farmers are due to retire within a decade, making it critical that financial incentives are put in place to encourage young people to make farming their career.

"Scotland has some of the best farming and undoubtedly some of the bestproduce in Europe. I'll be using my seat on the committee to promoteour farmers and protect our healthy, quality food.

"The SNP has made a clear commitment to support Scotland's farmersproposing incentives for young farmers, supporting local food production and joining the campaign for a fair milk price. As a Scottish MEP and an SNP MEP I will keep up that commitment and support Scotland's farmers in Europe."