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SAC Single Farm Payment Meetings in HIE AREA

8th February 2005

SAC is organising a series of meetings throughout the Highlands and Islands which aim to help farmers and crofters understand how the new Single Farm Payment Scheme works. The meetings will take place over the next six weeks (see below for times and venues) prior to the deadline for IACS applications on 16 May 2005. Thanks to funding from Highlands & Islands Enterprise, SAC is able to open the meetings to all and give everyone a chance to learn about the new Single Farm Payment Scheme.

The Single Farm Payment Scheme, came into operation on 1 January 2005, and
marks a complete shift in how farmers and crofters will receive their CAP payments. And, David Scrimgeour, SAC Principal Farm Business Services Consultant, is urging them to complete their IACS forms, on time, to ensure that they secure the entitlements that they have been awarded.

"If the form is not completed by 16 May 2005, farming and crofting businesses will lose all their entitlements, which could put a severe financial hardship on their business," says David. "The scheme presents a new range of oportunities for people to change their enterprise mix, as production is no longer connected to the payment".

The main speaker at the meetings is Douglas Bell, Senior SAC Business Consultant, who will focus on:

Update on Single Farm Payment Scheme.
National Reserve rules.
Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition regulations.

There will also be opportunities for discussion on what the new scheme will mean to crofters and farmers and how they can adapt their business to benefit fully from the scheme.

SAC Single Farm Payment Meetings

All meetings start at 7.30pm unless otherwise stated.

* Monday 14th February County Hotel, Francis Street, Stornoway (8.00pm)
* Tuesday 15th February Dark Island Hotel, Balivanich
* Monday 21st February Thistle Inverness Hotel, Millburn Road, Inverness
* Tuesday 22nd February Park Hotel, Thurso
* Monday 28th February Argyll Arms Hotel, Ardrishaig, Argyll (7.45pm)
* Tuesday 1st March Royal Hotel, Oban (11.30am)
* Tuesday 1st March Argyll Arms Hotel, Campbeltown (7.45pm)
* Monday 7th March North Atlantic Fisheries College, Scalloway, Shetland
* Tuesday 8th March Matchmakers Hall, Albert Hotel, Kirkwall (8.00pm)
* Monday 14th March Dingwall Auction Market, Humberston, Dingwall
* Tuesday 15th March Sligachan Hotel, Sligachan

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