Scottish farming calls for domestic food production commitments

Scottish farming calls for domestic food production commitments

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Scotland met with MPs and Lords in the House of Commons to outline the importance of domestic food production.

L-R: Alasdair Macnab, NFU Scotland vice president; Martin Kennedy, NFU Scotland president; and Andrew Connon, NFU Scotland vice president.

The event, held on Tuesday 16th April, was an “ideal opportunity” for the Union’s presidential team to present the key requirements Scottish agriculture needs to reach its full potential.

Case studies were presented to the Westminster reception, outlining the importance of the sector to the wider rural businesses. The 12 businesses featured worked with over 700 different supply chain companies, spending more than £12.6 million with those suppliers. The studies also showed that across the sector, every £1 of Government-funded direct payments into Scottish farming and crofting generated £6 of agricultural output.

The Union focused on the key asks of its manifesto, which included calling for the protection of domestic food production in future trade deals as well as urging Government to provide better access to skilled workers.

Speaking after the Westminster reception, NFU Scotland president Martin Kennedy said: “The next parliamentary term will be pivotal for Scotland’s farmers and crofters. Today’s event provided us with an excellent opportunity to put the importance of Scottish agriculture front and centre in the minds of numerous MPs and Lords from each of the main parties in Westminster.

“We need commitments from the UK Government, and we need the full support of all prospective Scottish MPs who should all be championing the interests of Scottish agriculture.

“A successful and prosperous Scottish agricultural industry is key to a successful and prosperous Scotland and UK. We were also able to outline the key asks listed in our recently launched General Election Manifesto document which we believe will be critical in supporting a sustainable, profitable future for Scottish farming and crofting.”

Alistair Carmichael MP, Orkney and Shetland, said: “Farming and food production are enormously important to our country, both economically and at the heart of our communities. We have a world-leading farming sector and that needs to be reflected in our politics.”

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