Keep­ing an eye on Brexit - and the rest

‘It is im­por­tant that day-to-day do­mes­tic is­sues do not fall by the way­side’

The Galloway News - - FARMING REVIEW - Stephen Tem­lett

The Na­tional Farm­ers Union has re­sponded to First Min­is­ter Ni­cola St u rgeon’s an­nual speech to the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment.

The First Min­is­ter out­lined her plans for the po­lit­i­cal year ahead with the NFU pay­ing close at­ten­tion to the is­sues that will ef­fect them the most.

While Brexit has been dom­i­nat­ing the head­lines, it is just one of many is­sues the agri­cul­tural com­mu­nity will be keep­ing an eye on over the next 12 months.

NFU Scot­land Pres­i­dent An­drew McCor­nick said: “Though Brexit is, and will re­main, the num­ber one po­lit­i­cal pri­or­ity for NFU Scot­land over the com­ing months, it is im­por­tant that day-to-day do­mes­tic is­sues do not fall by the way­side.

“The First Min­is­ter’s an­nual Pro­gramme for Govern­ment speech is a very use­ful barom­e­ter for NFU Scot­land to see how it will work on na­tion­ally im­por­tant pri­or­i­ties with the Scot­tish Govern­ment and MSPs over the com­ing 12 months.”

Among the top­ics listed by the First Min­is­ter, the NFUS was “pleased” that con­sid­er­a­tions were given to strength­en­ing pro­duc­ers’ po­si­tion in the sup­ply chain.

Mr McCor­nick, of Lochfoot, said: “There is plenty to be cheer­ful for from a re­gional per­spec­tive as well as the forth­com­ing South of Scot­land Enterprise Agency Bill which will bring about im­por­tant change for many NFUS mem­bers in the Bor­ders and Dum­fries and Gal­loway, and NFUS will en­gage in this leg­isla­tive process.

“Sim­i­larly, we will con­tinue our work with Scot­tish Govern­ment on the Croft­ing Bill to en­sure Scot­land’s crofters can get the best out of croft­ing law re­form.”

The Scot­tish Govern­ment’s cur­rent cli­mate change bill will be put in place with chal­leng­ing targets set for a lot of in­dus­tries which the union say they are com­mit­ted to en­gag­ing with. They also wel­comed the re­newal of the Farm­ing for a Bet­ter Cli­mate pro­gramme.

The NFUS Pres­i­dent added: “As the cor­ner­stone of Scot­land’s boom­ing food and drinks in­dus­try, Scot­land’s farm­ers and crofters are keen to be in­volved with the de­vel­op­ment of new Sec­tor Plans and the ex­port strate­gies for food and drink.

“NFUS wel­comes that new sec­tor plans will be de­liv­ered for beef, sheep and dairy to ac­com­pany the ex­ist­ing sec­tor plan for food and drink.

“How­ever, NFUS is also keen to work with Scot­tish Govern­ment to build on the huge in­ter­na­tional suc­cess of our whisky in­dus­try within any fu­ture ex­port plan, of which our ce­real-pro­duc­ing mem­bers play a key part.”

An­drew McCor­nick ‘Plenty to be cheer­ful for from a re­gional per­spec­tive’

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