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Stackyard News Dec 06

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    Farm Union Launches 'Manifesto' for Rural Scotland

Ahead of the Holyrood elections next May, Scotland’s farming union has published its own manifesto to chart the way ahead for the nation’s agricultural sector, countryside and food industry.  NFU Scotland has challenged all candidates in next year’s Scottish Parliamentary elections to deliver on a number of key priorities.


shorthorns in scotland

In its manifesto, NFUS has stressed the ongoing importance of farming to Scotland.  Three quarters of the nation’s land mass is farmed, with over 150,000 jobs directly or indirectly reliant on the £1.8 billion industry. NFUS has also highlighted that as well as being the bedrock of Scotland’s £7.3 billion food and drink industry, farming plays a critical role in managing the countryside and protecting the country’s wildlife and habitats.

NFU Scotland’s manifesto for the 2007 Scottish Parliamentary elections focuses on a number of areas.  These include:

  • Ensuring Scotland’s patients and pupils benefit from public procurement policies which encourage local sourcing of food (additionally, ensuring the provision of free milk and fruit to primary school pupils);
  • The establishment of a better regulation body in Scotland to ensure red tape is delivering benefits rather than just imposing costs;
  • New food labelling laws to ensure customers at restaurants, pubs and other food service outlets know the origin of the food they buy;
  • Ensuring the EU rural development programme supports farmers in Less Favoured Areas and that Scotland’s voice is heard in future negotiations on the farm subsidy regime;
  • Support for young farmers struggling to get into the farming industry.

NFUS President John Kinnaird said:

“Having met the major political parties over the last few weeks, it is clear that they all have a vision for a vibrant rural economy.  However, we need words turned into action.

“We are laying down a challenge to every candidate, across every party.  We’ve set out in our manifesto clear steps that need to be taken to forge a bright future for our food industry, countryside and rural communities. 

“A sustainable farming industry has huge potential to ensure the next Scottish Executive achieves it most important objectives.  The provision of fresh, local food in schools, hospitals and across the whole public sector can help tackle the nation’s woeful health record.  Environmental protection is a top priority for all parties and a reduction in food miles through local sourcing and the development of on-farm sources of renewable energy, can allow farming to play a major role in tackling climate change.

“To reach its potential, Scotland’s family farms need the right operating environment.  With a common-sense regulatory regime, a support structure which recognises the role of the industry in this country and a food industry which fairly rewards farmers for quality, Scotland will reap the benefits.”

link Scottish Food Makes The Perfect Christmas Dinner
link NFUS Young Achiever Award Deadline Extended!
link NFU Scotland Young Achiever Excellence Award

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National Farmers' Union