Union’s Manifesto for Rural Scotland is launched

Fife farmer Allan Bowie has been elected the 61st President of NFU Scotland.
Fife farmer Allan Bowie has been elected the 61st President of NFU Scotland.

NFU Scotland has launched its General Election manifesto containing the main points of focus to secure a vibrant future for the Scottish farming industry.

This Manifesto for Rural Scotland situates NFU Scotland’s position as we head into a new five years of Westminster government.

We are calling upon the team of politicians who will be elected on May 7 to support Scottish farmers by promoting Scotland’s larder at home and abroad

Allan Bowie

It calls upon candidates, of all the political parties, who are standing in the election, to work with Scottish farmers over the next five years to boost agriculture and the rural economy.

A range of hustings meetings across the country are to take place to encourage debate and to ask the candidates to commit to support Scottish farming in the run up to the General Election on May 7, 2015.

The election hustings got underway on Monday, March 30, with the first meeting held in the Forth and Clyde region. They are set to conclude on Thursday, April 30, with a meeting in Inverurie for North East farmers.

Newly elected NFU Scotland president Allan Bowie commented: “Last year’s referendum on independence sparked an unprecedented surge of political engagement, not least in Scotland’s rural areas.

“This General Election, on May 7, comes at a crucial time as Scotland considers its post-referendum position as part of the UK.

“Closer to home, however, there are a number of key issues that NFU Scotland would like to see UK politicians act on now to secure the vibrancy of the Scottish farming industry for the future.

“Our Manifesto for Rural Scotland calls upon the UK Government that will be elected on May 7 to recognise the changes that have taken place north of the border and work with Scottish farmers over the next five years to boost agriculture and the rural economy.

“In particular, we are calling upon the team of politicians who will be elected on May 7 to support Scottish farmers by promoting Scotland’s larder at home and abroad, which will also be key over the next five years, and we are calling upon UK politicians to consider a more co-ordinated approach to export promotion and fairness in the supply chain.

“We also urge for the undertaking an urgent review of the UK Government’s decision on CAP convergence monies; as well as looking more closely at what tax levers could be employed to incentivise best practice in land ownership and business investment in Scotland.

“We very much look forward to taking our Manifesto for Rural Scotland out to the regions of Scotland and encourage as many members as possible to attend these husting events, which will stimulate debate ahead of this important crossroad.”

The meeting in the Borders will be held on Thursday, April 16, at The Lodge, Carfraemill, Lauder,

NFU Scotland members wishing to attend the meeting at Carfraemill should contact clare.slipper@nfus.org.uk or 0131 472 4182.

All meetings take place at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

The venues for the other meetings up and down the country are: Shawsburn, Stirling Castle Douglas, Dingwall and Perth.