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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-10334
Asked by: Maurice Golden, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 16 August 2022

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the challenges facing wool farmers and what targeted support it plans to provide to them.

Current status: Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 13 September 2022


Answer

We are aware that the wool prices have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, with limited sheep farmers now reliant on their wool cheque.

We have committed to support active farming and food production with direct payments - which provides certainty to the industry - and we delivered 2021 Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) payments to schedule with over £564 million issued to date. In addition, this year, to support crofters and farmers with the cost of living, the Scottish Government has brought forward the advance payment start date to as early in the year as is practicably possible. The intention is to support businesses, as far as possible, with immediate cash flow challenges.

In addition the 2022 Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme (SUSSS) opened for applications on 1 September. The scheme provides additional support to help maintain sheep flocks in farm businesses reliant on poorer quality rough grazing found in Scotland’s Basic Payment Region three. These payments help farmers and crofters maintain the social and environmental benefits that sheep flocks bring to these areas.