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AHDB reiterates its commitment to help Scottish growers

Visiting Scotland this week, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board made a clear commitment to help secure the future of Scotland's farmers and growers.

The board's visit involved meeting businesses in Angus and Meigle, to hear the challenges facing the soft fruit industry, and meeting with NFUS and Food and Drink Scotland to hear how an integrated approach in Scotland is preparing the industry for challenges facing the sector, not least Brexit.

Collaboration was the underlying theme of AHDB's planning, as it stressed how it was working with key partners to pool resources and expertise: “In Scotland we work not only with bodies such as Quality Meat Scotland and SRUC but with research institutes, NFUS and of course the Scottish Government," said AHDB chief executive Jane King.

"However with Brexit on the horizon, we want to strengthen those ties to ramp up the rate of improvement of the agriculture sector in Scotland. We could be more effective as an industry as a whole if we pulled together and mobilised the industry in a more coherent way.”

At the end of October, AHDB will be launching its first Brexit paper explicitly focusing on Scotland, offering intelligence, evidence and analysis to help the country prepare for the uncertain road ahead. AHDB has also been working on modelling work around the impact of Brexit on the various sectors and will be looking at a variety of scenarios – and harsh realities – they believe farmers and growers will experience.

Ms King added: “It’s very important the industry doesn’t sleepwalk into Brexit and we start thinking about the repercussions that might be coming and help prepare people for that.”

Another key AHDB initiative which should have a beneficial impact on the Scottish industry is Farmbench, a new benchmarking system due to be rolled out across the UK later this autumn, which allows farmers and growers to understand and compare costs of production at both enterprise and whole farm level. Costs can be split across beef, sheep, potato and arable enterprises.

“A big part of our vision is to provide a world class industry which can compete with the best and is inspired by the best and to do that we need to look at what the best are doing and also look at our own businesses," concluded Ms King.

Publication date: 10/2/2017


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