A number of agricultural and rural organisations in Scotland have written, signed and sent a letter to government, calling for the dates of support payments to be brought forward to ease growing cashflow concerns.

In the letter, which was addressed to Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon, eleven organisations said they were "deeply concerned about the immediate challenges the farming and crofting industry is currently facing and the implications these will have".

"Not only for primary producers, but also many upstream and downstream businesses that rely on agriculture as their customers and their suppliers," they said.

While they "appreciate" that the Scottish government has already said it intends to make advanced Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Greening payments from mid-October, the input-cost inflation has since worsened and this measure may not suffice in helping.

Thus, their "collective request to bring forward payments as soon as possible is not a call for additional funding".

"This is about the accelerated delivery of already committed resources in order that input cost rises can be endured and to help ensure the continuity of agricultural production at economically sustainable levels," the letter said.

"The timing of payments to ensure cashflow within farming and crofting businesses is vital to the continuity of agricultural activity and food production."  

Given the "urgency" of the situation, the organisations are looking for a quick response. Furthermore, they added that they are read to engage with officials on the matter.

The organisations and signatories of the letter are as follows:

  1. Martin Kennedy, president National Farmers' Union (NFU) Scotland;
  2. Robin Barron, chairperson, Agricultural Industries Confederation, (AIC) Scotland;
  3. Grace Reid, Scottish region coordinator, National Sheep Association (NSA);
  4. Kate Rowell, chair, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS);
  5. Mark Tennant, chairman, Scottish Land and Estates;
  6. Neil Wilson, executive director, Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland;
  7. David Barron, chairman, Scottish Beef Association;
  8. Peter Dawson, policy and sustainability director, Dairy UK;
  9. Andrew Moir, chairman, Scottish Quality Crops (SQC);
  10. Douglas Bell, managing director, Scottish Tenant Farmers Association; and
  11. Andy McGowan, managing director, Scottish Pig Producers.