Vice President's Blog - 14 February 2020

For some time now farmers and crofters in Scotland have been calling for an opportunity to remind as many people as possible about the fantastic story of food and farming in Scotland and to thank them for their support writes Martin Kennedy.

Well, that opportunity will come on Saturday 23 May.  

All too often, an ill-informed small minority have used media platforms to paint our industry in a bad light or tar us with the same brush over production standards in other parts of the world.

The facts suggest that the public truly value what we do; what we deliver and we want to meet them and thank them.

Whether it is meat, milk, cereals, fruit or veg, Scottish farming produces safe nutritious food grown and reared sustainably, and at the same time delivers so much for the environment through climate change mitigation and biodiversity.  

All that results in a massive contribution to the rural economy.

So let’s come together on 23 May to get that message across.  Events being planned for that day will give the opportunity for all involved in farming and crofting to get in front of as many of our consumers as possible to showcase just exactly why we should be proud of what we produce in Scotland.

This national day of celebration, to involve events in towns and cities across all our regions will raise public awareness of the benefits of eating Scottish produce to the next level.

There’s a lot of excellent information available from other industry organisations and we will build on that to get the true facts and our story out there.

This will include some of the excellent work that’s been done by our own climate change policy experts within NFUS and Scotland’s research institutes, independently produced and scientifically-verified, to ensure the information we put into the public domain will be factual.

The reason for this blog is to give everyone the heads up that this is going ahead on the 23 May, so please save the date.

The one thing we can all do is give a little time to try and help the industry. NFU Scotland and others will provide the information that’s required and events will be coordinated through our team of regional managers.

We want every member and their family to be involved. We know we can provide the man power, so this is a plea for everyone to be a part of this which I sincerely believe could be a game changer.

This is also a plea to all Scottish politicians to back this event as it’s in everyone’s interest that we maintain our sustainable food production systems here, and don’t get undermined by trade deals that allow food in from other countries that would be illegal to produce here.

We’ve got something to be extremely proud of, let’s take this opportunity on the 23rd of May to shout it from the roof tops.

Watch this space for future details.

Author: Martin Kennedy

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About The Author

Martin Kennedy

Martin Vice President of NFU Scotland and is a tenant farmer in Highland Perthshire and farms with his wife Jane and three daughters, Jillian, Katrina and Yvonne. They have 600 ewes and 60 cows on the farm rising from 800ft to over 2,500ft. Martin served two years as Highland Perthshire branch chairman, before representing East Central region on the LFA committee in 2009. Martin then went on to be vice chairman then chaired the committee for three years. He has served as Vice President of NFUS for two years and is currently sitting on his third.

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