SNP Launch Farming Manifesto

22 May 2009
The SNP today (Friday) set out its ambition for Scotland's rural communities as Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham and SNP MEP Alyn Smith pledged to protect Scotland's rural jobs at the launch of the SNP's Manifesto for Rural Scotland.

The manifesto commits SNP MEPs to work with and for Scotland's farming communities in the fight over direct payments, CAP reform and less favoured areas. SNP MEPs will continue to speak for Scotland on ongoing issues such as sheep tagging - where the SNP has led the campaign against EU plans.

Commenting as they visited West Park Farm, near Braco in Perth, local MSP and Scotland's Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said:

"Scotland's agriculture industry is a huge asset to this country. It lies at the heart of our rural communities and supports jobs from Shetland to Selkirk.

"Working with communities, the SNP Scottish Government has invested around ÂŁ200 million in our rural economy through our rural development programme, supporting thousands of jobs in rural Scotland and we have taken action to support Scotland's quality produce through our national food strategy.

"SNP MEPs alongside Scottish ministers, will make sure those priorities are heard in the European Parliament, the European Commission and by the UK Government."

SNP MEP Alyn Smith, who has been Scotland's only full member of Europe's Agriculture Committee during the last Parliament said;

"Scotland has very different priorities to those being extolled by politicians at Westminster, particularly when it comes to how our rural communities should be supported financially.

"As we undertake a review of the Common Agricultural Policy in the next Parliament, a strong voice for Scotland is more necessary than ever.

"A vote for the SNP on June 4th is a vote to protect Scotland's jobs and rural communities."