NFU conference reveals current mood

Scottish growers optimistic despite Brexit difficulties

Scottish growers have called on Europe to help sort out the current Brexit difficulties between them, particularly over transportation and seed potatoes. After addressing the obstacles that Brexit has brought, the National Farmers Union Scotland ended its annual conference -conducted online this year- in upbeat mood about the opportunities ahead.

Outgoing NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick said Scottish farming and crofting stands on the edge of the most significant change in generations. Major challenges according to him were of course Brexit, the impact of Covid-19, climate change and significant changes in agricultural policy from 2025.

McCornick: “We could ­bemoan the fact that we have left ­Europe, or we can look for the ­opportunities for the global country we have now ­become. Stepping away from half a ­century under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) allows us to move to a smarter way of delivering for our ­industry, supporting the environment, biodiversity, climate change, and delivering our high standards of food production.”

“NFU Scotland has been crystal clear. Our industry is one that can change, and will change, to meet public aspirations with an upbeat forward-looking mindset. This outlook will empower our farmers and crofters and drive us ­forward to the holy grail of sustainable profit, done in parallel with tackling climate change and delivering affordable healthy food which the public expect as a return for their investment in support for our industry.”

Thenational.scot also quoted McCornick as saying: “The cards are stacked in our ­favour. We can deliver on so many fronts provided policy, support and opportunities are formulated coherently and speedily.’’

That challenge has now been taken up by his successor Martin Kennedy, whose immediate priority is to give voice to his members’ pressing concerns on transportation and exports.


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