MPs and Lords met in the House of Commons to hear from the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Scotland about the importance of domestic food production ahead of an expected General Election.

The NFU Scotland presidential team presented a list of asks to politicians at the House of Commons on Tuesday 16th April, highlighting the key requirements Scottish agriculture needs to “reach its full potential”.

Case studies were presented to the Westminster reception, outlining the importance of the sector to the wider rural businesses. The 12 featured businesses worked with over 700 different supply chain companies, spending more than £12.6 million with those suppliers. The studies also showed that across the sector, every £1 of Government-funded direct payments into Scottish farming and crofting generated £6 of agricultural output.

The Union focused on the key asks of its manifesto, which included calling for the protection of domestic food production in future trade deals as well as urging Government to provide better access to skilled workers.

Support for agriculture needed

Alistair Carmichael MP, Orkney and Shetland, said: “Farming and food production are enormously important to our country, both economically and at the heart of our communities. We have a world-leading farming sector and that needs to be reflected in our politics.”

President of NFU Scotland Martin Kennedy addressed politicians, saying: “The next parliamentary term will be pivotal for Scotland’s farmers and crofters. Today’s event provided us with an excellent opportunity to put the importance of Scottish agriculture front and centre in the minds of numerous MPs and Lords from each of the main parties in Westminster.

“We need commitments from the UK Government, and we need the full support of all prospective Scottish MPs who should all be championing the interests of Scottish agriculture.

“A successful and prosperous Scottish agricultural industry is key to a successful and prosperous Scotland and UK. We were also able to outline the key asks listed in our recently launched General Election Manifesto document which we believe will be critical in supporting a sustainable, profitable future for Scottish farming and crofting.”