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Examination of Witnesses

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 13th February 2020.

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Jonnie Hall:

We have had a beef calf payment since 2005 under the CAP. There are strict rules on how much money can be spent on that. It is about how important the suckler herd is to the socioeconomic fabric of rural Scotland. It certainly has not driven production, because suckler cow numbers have continued to decline over that period. If anything, it has slowed the decline down, so I would not call it a production support. It recognises the additional cost of suckler production in our hills, in particular, and therefore it is a very important piece of the policy toolkit. It enables the retention of suckler beef in Scotland, and that has significant implications further downstream and into the supply chain, as I am sure Alan Clarke would agree.