Speaking this week at the AgriScot event, Richard Lochhead spoke of the continuing European negotiations to reform the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and reiterated his intention to get a fair deal for Scotland's farmers.
"On Monday, I met with Commissioner Ciolos in Brussels. That meeting convinced me, yet again, how vital it is that we get the foundations right.
"So that means lots of hard work - from officials and stakeholders - with commission officials to explain to them the nature of our farm sector. This is crucial because if they understand that, they'll understand what we need the future CAP to look like.
"The hard work has already begun and I know it will be a long road. However, we couldn't be working more closely with our stakeholders and we'll work out the way forward together."