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Coronavirus guidance


Up-to-date support and intelligence for farm based businesses

Message from the NFUS President

There can be no doubt that the situation in the UK is now critical and we must all play our part in complying with governments’ requests as much as we are able.

I absolutely appreciate that despite this unprecedented situation, vital farming activities such as lambing, calving and spring arable operations must continue alongside ongoing production of our primary products in other sectors. There can be no doubt that NFUS members have a key role to play in safeguarding vital food supplies for the nation as part of the UK wide resilience effort. However, for the safety of members and their workers-social, distancing requirements must be adhered to.

Our new mantra is: Stay clean – Stay apart – Stay well

Understandably, members are looking to NFUS for leadership and this is something which the Union will continue to provide. I urge members to keep up to date by downloading our app from the Apple Store or Google Play. We will also be keeping our social media channels populated with the most up to date news, blogs and video blogs, as well as sending out our more traditional forms of weekly update.

Members can be reassured that the Union is working hard with governments and other key stakeholders to ensure that food and farming remains at the very forefront of discussions at the highest levels. The Union recognises that there are some issues which require urgent clarity and we are working on these as a matter of urgency.

One of the first issues to emerge was that of seasonal labour for soft fruit and veg growers. To help mitigate this, NFUS immediately launched a service on our website to match businesses with workers who had lost jobs or found themselves on unpaid leave due to coronavirus.  I can report that, since I last wrote to you, there has been a tremendous response from members wishing to utilise this.

As I said in my previous update, all of our staff are working from home and participating remotely in internal and external meetings via video and teleconference. Our regional team are working hard fielding calls from members, offering emotional support and information. Our policy team are flat out working to make the case for key workers for each commodity sector and the industry as a whole, monitoring sectoral issues as they arise and working on mitigation where that is possible.

Staff and Board members remain in constant contact with each other and with other agricultural stakeholder organisations.  This is a key part of what will be a collective effort in the coming months.

It is without question that these are unprecedented times.  However, times such as these are exactly what NFUS was made for. Rest assured that I, and the entire NFUS team, have our shoulders firmly to the wheel on behalf of industry.

I urge you to please look out for one another and a reminder for those who need emotional, practical or financial support in times of need, our rural charity RSABI is there to support people in Scottish agriculture and can be contacted on 0300 111 4166.

The NFU Scotland Policy Team is monitoring the impact that the coronavirus is having on farms and the supply chain.

A Q&A has been produced and will be updated that gives you the answers to the most common questions we are receiving.

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