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Livestock Chair Heads to Shetland for Branch AGM

NFU Scotland’s Livestock Committee Chairman, Charlie Adam, is to lead the debate at Shetland Branch AGM on 24 November.

Charlie, who farms in Aberdeenshire, will tackle the immediate issues like the recent calamitous fall in price for native Shetland lambs.  He will also use the meeting to sound out members on their views about Brexit and establish what the priorities are for farmers and crofters on Shetland in a post-Brexit era. The meeting will take place at the Shetland Hotel in Lerwick, starting at 7.30pm.

Mr Adam said: “I am delighted to be asked to attend the Shetland branch meeting where there are clearly important topics to discuss.

“The dramatic decline in price for light lambs will have a huge impact on many members on Shetland.  The weak pound has done little to improve the trade and, being a niche product, it is a fragile supply chain prone to volatility.

“There are no easy solutions to the situation but I hope to have a good discussion with the local members and agree on how the Union can continue to assist.

“We have already written to all the major retailers and those involved in public procurement asking them to consider new markets and outlets for the island lamb.  We have also spoken to processors and levy bodies about how we can increase the customer base. Furthermore, we have looked at the continental market to better understand what could be driving the fall in price.

“I have recently spoken to another lamb group about how it operates with the intention of increasing returns for their farmers.  I would like to discuss whether this model might assist Shetland.  Light lamb is also a huge market for Wales and I hope to catch up with my Welsh colleagues on this before visiting Shetland.

“For our farming and crofting members on Shetland, producing food profitably remains a real challenge.  Excellent work has seen the Union successfully lobbying for the Scottish Government to bring forward support payments, through the loan scheme, putting vital funds into the rural economy in recent days.  

“But will such support systems be in place beyond 2020? The Brexit vote presents an opportunity to make sure Scotland has an agricultural and crofting policy that is fit for purpose and I am keen to hear the views of Shetland members on what they want NFU Scotland to be pressing for on their behalf as the debate starts to open up.”  

Notes to Editors

  • NFU Scotland’s Livestock Committee Chairman, Charlie Adam, can be contacted on 07761 290131
  • A photo of Charlie is available on request from media@nfus.org.uk

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 251/16


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