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Union Concern Over Potential Impact of Fuel Strikes
23/04/08

NFU Scotland has expressed its concern over the potential impact that the recently announced fuel strikes could have on agriculture and other rural businesses, as the impact starts to be felt already.

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Workers at one of the UK's biggest oil refineries based in Grangemouth are set to take part in a two-day strike this weekend. The Ineos refinery is the main supplier of fuel to Scotland.

NFU Scotland has already heard of cases in which supplies have been limited and is urging farmers and those living in rural areas to take care to conserve fuel at this crucial time of year.

Scott Walker, NFU Scotland Policy Manager, said:

“This is a busy time of year for farmers and we are already hearing reports that some suppliers are unable to fulfil demand for fuel. Some farmers are only receiving 50 per cent of their fuel orders as suppliers restrict deliveries for fear of a shortage in days or weeks to come.

“Cars are a necessity for those who live in the countryside and this is also a crucial time of year for farmers who are using essential farm equipment, such as quad bikes for lambing and tractors for sowing crops.

“We have been told that there are at least seventy days' worth of fuel in reserve which should meet the country’s needs and people are being urged not to panic buy, but it remains a concern that any fuel shortages could have a negative impact on agriculture.

“The problem could be resolved fairly shortly but if not and we do see significant shortages then Government must ensure that it classifies farmers as essential users so that they can continue the job of feeding the nation.”

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