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NFU delegation on two-day Westminster lobby

As part of a two-day lobby at Westminster Union President Martin Kennedy (centre) and Director of Policy Jonnie Hall met with Victoria Prentis MP Minister of State at the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs

AN NFU Scotland delegation has undertaken two days of intensive lobbying in Westminster with food security, the labour crisis and future support arrangements on the agenda.

Union President Martin Kennedy, Director of Policy Jonnie Hall and Political Affairs Manager Beatrice Morrice met today (10 March) with Victoria Prentis MP, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

In a busy schedule, over two days, the delegation also met with MPs Alistair Carmichael and Kirsty Blackman; Neil Parish MP, Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee as well as HM Treasury officials.

Speaking after the visit, President Martin Kennedy said: “While our thoughts and concerns remain focussed on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, it is more important than ever that Scottish farmers and crofters can play their part both now and in the future. In our discussions we focussed on the urgency around the four Fs – food, fuel, fertiliser and folk. We are absolutely clear that climate and biodiversity challenges must continue to be addressed. However, we find ourselves in unprecedented times. 

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“We discussed food security and high input costs and impressed upon the Minister just how fundamentally important access to permanent and seasonal labour is to Scottish food and farming and sought her support in seeking changes to immigration policies that are undermining our sectors.

“We also stressed the urgent need to level the playing field and ensure that the asymmetrical border controls that burden our exporters with paperwork but offer significantly easier access to the UK for those in the EU are addressed.

“In our in-depth meeting with Treasury officials, we stressed the importance of investing in Scottish agriculture in order that it can play its critical role to effectively deliver on sustainable food production, climate ambitions and nature enhancement.

“A key theme across all meetings was food security and future agricultural and rural development support funding across the UK.”  

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