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Scottish farmers and crofts to rally at Holyrood

Martin Kennedy (NFU Scotland President)

NFU Scotland rally will highlight need to put farming and food production at centre of Scotland’s future.

SCOTLAND’s leading agricultural lobbying organisation that represents farmers, crofters and producers across Scotland is inviting its members to rally together on Wednesday 2 November from 12 noon to 2pm outside the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, Edinburgh.  The aim of the rally is to deliver a crystal-clear message to the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Government, MSPs and officials that farming, crofting and food production must be the central pillar of its new agricultural policy for Scotland and remind them that #FoodNeedsAFarmer.

The rally comes at a time when Scotland’s farmers and crofters are being consulted by Scottish Government on a future agricultural policy for the nation in an information void.  A position that is untenable according the NFU Scotland President, Martin Kennedy who explained; “The Scottish Government consultation on a new Agriculture Bill is a critical step on the road to a new agricultural policy and determining fundamental changes to how farming and crofting will be supported in the future. But farmers and crofters are being asked to discuss these massive issues in an information vacuum.

“It remains hugely frustrating that despite several requests from NFU Scotland and other stakeholders we’ve yet to receive clarity as to how any new powers created by the proposed new Agriculture Bill will put food production at the heart of delivering all the economic, social and environmental benefits that active agricultural businesses will be asked to deliver.

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“The Scottish Parliament must acknowledge that farming and crofting have the answers when it comes to delivering high quality, local, sustainable, and affordable food and at the same time delivering for the public on climate change and biodiversity.

“NFU Scotland has been unequivocal that the new powers must be used to target future direct support at active farming and crofting – both to provide financial stability through post-Brexit turbulence and severe market volatility and to reward actions that improve productivity and build resilience.

“Only farmers and crofters across Scotland can turn the dry legislation of a new Agriculture Bill into practices that deliver for food, climate and nature but we need to know now what those options look like.

“The lack of recognition of our industry and all it delivers is unacceptable and fails to acknowledge the urgent need to address the worsening food security crisis.  We are holding this rally to drive home the message that #FoodNeedsAFarmer.

“In addition and ahead of the rally, our members in all parts of Scotland from Shetland to Stranraer and Kirkwall to Kelso will be using their fields, buildings, fences, tattie boxes and bales in a visual campaign to remind the nation that #FoodNeedsAFarmer.”

NFU Scotland members are asked to liaise with their Regional Manager for more information on how they can take part. 

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