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President's Blog - 3 July 2017

We have put a fantastic Highland Show behind us now and now our focus is discussing CHANGE with our members, stakeholders, policymakers and politicians writes President Andrew McCornick.

At the Highland, we launched our discussion document ‘CHANGE – A New Agricultural Policy for Scotland Post-Brexit’ and I urge you to go and read it at: https://www.nfus.org.uk/userfiles/images/Policy/Brexit/Brexit%20Doc%20-%20pages.pdf .

This is the next step in trying to ensure that we achieve a profitable and sustainable future for our industry.

NFUS is on the front foot on this, as you would expect, and we have been at the forefront since the referendum result one year ago. Our “policy framework” and “trading framework” papers were out very quickly in response. The CHANGE document is the start of filling out the bare bones of our ambition to get it right.

There has been a lot of politicking since then but not a lot of action on what is going to be the most fundamental change to our industry in 43 years. We must take control of our destiny and CHANGE is the start of getting your voice heard at the start of negotiations.  Our industry is too important to the rural and national economy to be side-lined.

You, the membership, need to use this as an opportunity to get the priorities for your business into the melting pot.

And we are meeting with allied industries, suppliers and processors to get a common message from different voices.

The engagement with the politicians and their officials is ramping up, both in Westminster and Holyrood. NFUS is in the excellent position of having a high calibre policy team covering all sectors and the envy of many other organisations.

I ask you to read the CHANGE document, a copy of which will be arriving in your mail shortly, and then feed in your thoughts on how to shape the future. You can do that in many ways.

Our Presidential team will be at 30 shows through the summer so come and see us.  Our numbers are in your membership handbook if you want to give us a call and if you want to send us your thoughts, then email: brexit@nfus.org.uk

Later this year will see a series of regional meetings held and our Autumn conference in late October will be majoring on it.

The crucial element that we need is member input on how we design, shape and build the future then influence politicians into delivering what is best for farming crofting and the rural economy.

CHANGE is a “discussion paper” – Let’s get discussing.            

Author: Andrew McCornick

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About The Author

Andrew McCornick

Andrew, who is married with three sons and a daughter, was born and brought up on a dairy farm in Wigtown. Andrew and wife Janice farm their 230+ ha unit with 160 suckler cows and 600 breeding ewes with a small herd of pedigree Charolais cattle. Andrew's sons farm a nearby tenanted unit which frequently provides replacement breeding stock for Barnbackle. For as long as Andrew can remember, he has been a member of the Union, and got more involved when the consultation for Nithsdale NVZ came out. From there he went onto become vice chairman of the Dumfries branch, and then onto his previous role of Regional Board Chairman for Dumfries and Galloway. He also sat on the LFASS committee. Andrew was elected Vice President in February 2015.

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