New Livestock Committee Chair Maps Out Priorities

Highland’s Hugh Fraser takes over from Jimmy Ireland

Highland farmer Hugh Fraser has mapped out the policy priorities for NFU Scotland’s influential Livestock committee in the year ahead.

Hugh, from Kinchyle Farm, Scaniport near Inverness, has recently taken over the chair at the Livestock committee from Jimmy Ireland, Feoch Farm, Darvel, Ayrshire.  Hugh, a past chair of NFU Scotland’s Highland Region, is a tenant farmer running 180 suckler cows and 620 ewes on 680 hectares of Less Favoured Area land.  Hugh farms alongside his son, Scott.

Speaking at a recent meeting of NFU Scotland’s Board of Directors, Hugh said the committee had established three sub-groups to focus attention on its three priorities - future support arrangements, climate change and the supply chain.

On future support, the committee will seek to ensure policy proposals set out by the farmer-led Suckler Beef Climate Change Group, are adopted by the Agricultural Reform Implementation Board (ARIOB) when it brings forward its National Test Programme this spring and proposals for future support arrangements later this year.

Climate change work for the committee will focus on carbon calculators, methodology and baselining as well as championing livestock grazing’s role in carbon storage and biodiversity.

Given widespread concern on the loss of the Scotch premium for beef, the committee will champion Scottish red meat in a shorter supply chain whilst highlighting the clear threat to livestock production in the future from foreign trade deals.

Looking forward to the year ahead, Hugh said: “Livestock production remains the cornerstone of Scotland’s agricultural industry.  In these volatile and worrying times, we need to ensure that future policy development in Scotland recognises the need for a critical mass of beef cows and sheep in Scotland to underpin their place in a red meat supply chain that is worth more than £1 billion per annum.

“There is scope for policy to support and incentivise efficiency as a driver to maintaining or enhancing our production of beef and lamb.

“The livestock sector has a clear responsibility to play its part in reducing emissions.  We will support industry development of a more accurate carbon calculator that takes account of farm-level sequestration of grazing, farm forestry/shelter belts and renewables to allow livestock producers to baseline their business before adopting measures that improve their carbon footprint.

“Tackling animal health will also bring benefits and we will look to complete the BVD eradication scheme in Scotland as well as other initiatives that increase lambing and calving percentages.

“We will also work with Scottish Government and other stakeholders to look at fairness and transparency in the supply chain.  That will see us champion a stable supply of beef and lamb; investment in our processing sector; improve rules around labelling particularly in hospitality and ensure that Scotch beef and lamb remains the number one choice for consumers in Scotland whilst the export markets for our fantastic beef and lamb continue to grow.”  Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 07788 927675

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 20/22

< Article List


Report Abusive Comment

Comment Content:

Why it offends me (optional):

Have Your Say

No-one has commented on this article yet. Be the first to have your say...

New Comment


Total Pages:
Total Results:
Page Start:
Page Result #:

About The Author

Bob Carruth

A dairy farmer’s son, I joined NFU Scotland in 1999 after 13 years as an agricultural journalist. Following spells as a regional manager and policy lead on milk, livestock and animal health and welfare, I became Communications Director in 2008.

Quick Contact

Which Region do you live in?  
Are you a member of NFU Scotland?  

This form collects and sends the information supplied to NFU Scotland. You can read our privacy policy for full details on how we protect and manage your data.
  I consent to having NFU Scotland collect the above details.

Registred Address

NFU Scotland
Head Office
Rural Centre - West Mains
Ingliston, Midlothian
EH28 8LT

Place of registration: Scotland

Company Registration Number: SC214564

Tel: 0131 472 4000

NFU Mutual Logo

Get the App

NFUS App QR Code

©NFU Scotland • All Rights Reserved • Web design by Big Red DigitalLog in


Contact Us




No Robots:

This form collects and sends the information supplied to NFU Scotland. You can read our privacy policy for full details on how we protect and manage your data.
  I consent to having NFU Scotland collect the above details.