MEP hails inspirational Whitmuir Farm plans

Alyn Smith MEP and Emma Harper, SNP candidate for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweedale, have expressed their support for Whitmuir Farm’s plan to establish itself as the first community-owned farm in Scotland.

Alyn said: “Whitmuir is a truly inspirational example of sustainable organic farming, and I have to say that Pete Ritchie and Heather Anderson do a fantastic job running the place.

“Scotland’s got a good story to tell when we talk about high-quality food, and consumers knowing that they’re getting fresh, organic produce is a significant part of that. The farming sector has to evolve. Just look at farmers forming Producer Organisations and Commissioner Hogan making CAP simplification a priority for 2015. That’s why Whitmuir’s expansion programme is definitely one to watch, and they have my wholehearted support.”

Emma added: “As a Nurse Educator I was especially impressed by the focus on education at Whitmuir, in that both visitors and the local community can reconnect directly with farming and food production. “

Heather Anderson added: “Pete and I have always been passionate advocates of community engagement and education. We have 80,000 visitors to the farm every year and the farm has hosted 355 specifically educational events over the last five years. Whitmuir aims to become the first community-owned farm in Scotland, and anyone aged five or over can buy a share from the Whitmuir Community Benefit Society for £50.From April 2015, with support from the Climate Challenge Fund, the farm will be working with two local schools to grow vegetables for the school. Every person on the planet has 2000m2 of arable land and 4000m2 of pasture, so the site will demonstrate the land use decisions we can make in Scotland and like with similar project round the world.”

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