Scottish pig and poultry industries jeopardised by inflation
National Farmers’ Union Scotland (NFUS) has retaliated to proposals from the country’s environmental body to dramatically increase many of its charges.
Following a discussion on the Environmental Regulation (Scotland) Charging Scheme for 2016, the farming body has told the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) that they will not support any rise in charges that exceeds inflation.
Particular concerns lay in the poultry and pork sectors. Significant increases being put forward for Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) regulated businesses could have a damaging impact on the industries, as they primarily operate within the sectors.
“While we broadly accept the principles that underpin any charging scheme, a further principle must be added – the ability of a business or sector to pay,” said vice-president of NFUS Rob Livesey.
Proposals include a 596% rise in the charge for a technical variation to a PPC permit, alongside an overall 81% increase for large PPC permits.
“Many agricultural businesses are operating on very small or no margins and returns in those pig, poultry and egg systems covered by PPC regulations are significantly worse than they were almost a decade ago.
“Through improved management and adoption of best practice, the environmental risk posed by intensive agriculture has improved significantly in recent years, but gross margins have not,” he added.
“These businesses clearly have a reduced ability to pay and we can see no justification to increase charges.”
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