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.
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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