Union focus on future in unpredictable times

NFU Scotland’s Chief Executive Scott Walker stated that unpredictable times will not deflect from the Union’s primary purpose of driving profitability and growth for Scottish farmers and crofters.

Speaking at the Union’s AGM in Glasgow, Mr Walker said that while Brexit will undoubtedly be the biggest call on the Union’s resources in the months and years ahead – it is not the only issue.

And, Mr Walker reminded delegates, NFU Scotland is not the only lobbying organisation and Scotland is not the only nation looking to sell its produce based on high levels of quality and provenance.

Mr Walker said: “At the centre of what we do, is the drive to see profitability and growth on Scottish farms and crofts – and that remains the core message when we meet with Scottish Government, the UK Government and others with an interest in our sector.

“We want to sell our Scottish products for a premium price based on our high production standards and our provenance.  There are others out there looking to do the same and we only have to look across the water to Ireland to see what the competition looks like.

“Post-Brexit, the need for market access and properly functioning supply chains will be more important than ever.   This is a core objective for NFUS in the years ahead.

“And when it comes to negotiating agricultural policy and future basis for support in a post-Brexit era, our lobbying voice is strong – but it is just one of many that Government and others will hear.

“We are effective. The solid support of all our members is what enables this Union to represent Scottish agriculture when there are lots of others out there who don’t have farmers’ interests at heart when decisions are made that will affect the livelihoods of farming and crofting families.

“And this week has provided a wake up call to all those who do not take food security seriously.  UK food security levels have fallen from 75 percent in 1991 to 62 percent now and 14 August marks the day in the year when the British larder would be bare if we fed the nation only on British food.

“Could you imagine the political storm if headlines had been about no beef, no bread or no milk instead of no lettuce or courgettes.

“As we debate our post-Brexit future, the clear message for policymakers is a robust production base is essential, food security is important and supply chains that deliver a fair reward to all are a must.”

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