ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

Scotland's Farming Manifesto

by 5m Editor
19 April 2005, at 12:00am

SCOTLAND - Fair trade, promoting healthy food and tackling climate change are just some of Scottish agriculture’s key general election issues. Scotland’s Farming Manifesto, produced by NFU Scotland, has now been sent to parliamentary candidates in each of Scotland’s 59 constituencies.

Scotland's Farming Manifesto - SCOTLAND - Fair trade, promoting healthy food and tackling climate change are just some of Scottish agriculture’s key general election issues. Scotland’s Farming Manifesto, produced by NFU Scotland, has now been sent to parliamentary candidates in each of Scotland’s 59 constituencies.

NFUS is challenging all parties to deliver for Scottish agriculture, the countryside and the rural economy.

In its manifesto, NFUS has highlighted the importance of agriculture to the nation, managing over three-quarters of Scotland’s land mass and contributing £1.8 billion a year to the economy.

As well as its headline manifesto, the Union has produced briefings highlighting the key priorities for each sector of the Scottish farming industry. In its main manifesto, the eight election priorities are:

  • Fair trade – Ensuring fairer prices for all parts of the food supply chain. In particular, fighting for fair play between supermarkets and their suppliers.

  • Promoting consumer choice – Clear labelling of food to ensure consumers can make an informed choice on the food and drink they buy.

  • Public procurement of food – Ensuring local government sources healthy food and drink, to ensure our pupils, patients and others benefit from quality Scottish production.

  • Protection from animal diseases – Improving UK border controls on illegal meat to prevent the return of diseases such as foot and mouth, which cost the economy £8 billion.

  • Investment in rural areas – Ensuring the UK gets a fairer share of EU rural development funding. In particular, ensuring support for fragile hill farms is protected.

  • Sensible European regulation – Urging the UK Government to avoid goldplating EU rules and to impact-assess EU legislation to ensure it delivers real benefits.

  • Supporting ‘green’ fuel industry – Pushing the UK Government to introduce the EU-recommended targets for using environmentally-friendly road fuels.

  • Tackling fuel fraud – Costing the economy £850 million a year, NFUS believes greater inspection resources will tackle fuel fraud, not an increase in fuel tax for all.

NFUS President John Kinnaird said:
“The farming industry is delivering for Scotland. Not only in terms of quality food, but also through the management of our valuable countryside and as the foundation for one in ten Scottish jobs. There is no doubt the industry must continue to strive for greater efficiencies. However, the industry also needs a legislative and regulatory environment that will allow it to operate to its strengths.

“Over the next fortnight, candidates of every party will be touring the electoral battlegrounds trying to secure the rural vote. We have outlined the key issues for farmers and the Scottish countryside and I would urge our members to engage with the candidates and highlight the political priorities for farming.

“The supermarkets are the big winners in our food industry, but their success is coming at a price. Unless there is a fundamental review of how the massive profits on Scotland’s food and drink is shared through the supply chain to farmers, supermarkets may end up being the only winners. Farmers, the local processing industry and, ultimately, consumers will be the losers.

“There are a host of other issues facing farm businesses up and down Scotland which should be in the minds of anyone standing for Parliament. From the future of funding for our rural areas to supporting positive work on farms to help fight climate change, there are many political steps that can be taken to benefit the Scottish countryside and the families that earn their living from it.”

Source: National Farmers Union of Scotland - 18th April 2005

5m Editor