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Tenant Farmers Urged to Engage in Survey

NFU Scotland is urging the nation’s tenant farmers to engage in the Scottish Government’s survey of the sector, which commences today (Wednesday, 22 January).

Copies of the survey are being sent to every tenant farmer in Scotland and responses will feed into the Ministerial-led Agricultural Holdings Legislation review, announced by the Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead last year.  Members of the expert group to carry out the review were announced in November 2013. The review is considering many issues related to the tenanted sector, including an absolute right to buy for traditional secure 1991 agricultural tenancies. Corresponding surveys will be sent to landlords shortly.

The surveys have been developed in conjunction with the Scottish stakeholder group, the Tenant Farming Forum, of which NFU Scotland is a member.

In 2013, NFU Scotland held two seminars which saw a wide range of stakeholders map out a vision for how land tenure in Scotland might look come 2020.

NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller, who chaired the Union’s recent seminars, said:

“It is hugely important to Scottish agriculture that we have a tenanted sector that works for existing tenants and landlords, while also ensuring that there are opportunities for new and expanding businesses to rent land.  

“The remit of the review group is to examine if we have the appropriate legislation to deliver a tenanted sector that’s fit for purpose or if changes are required to improve existing tenancy agreements, such as changes to the rent review process and waygo.   At the end of the process, we need a legislative framework that encourages the owners of land to rent while providing security to the tenant, allowing them to invest in their business.

“This survey of Scottish tenant farmers is the first piece in the review process jigsaw.  It is vital that tenant farmers respond so that any future decisions by the review group are based on the most accurate data available.  This is a genuine opportunity for all tenant farming views, both good and bad, to come forward. And the more responses received, the better for the whole review process.” 

Notes to Editors

  • Surveys asking about experiences of tenant farming and views on the future of tenant farming in Scotland are being sent to all farm business that rent-in land on leases for more than one year.
  • Responses can be submitted online or on paper and are requested by February 7, 2014.  Those who do not complete the survey by that date will be contacted again with a final closing date of March 10, 2014.
  • Corresponding surveys will be sent to landlords shortly.
  • A further telephone survey to better understand landlord and tenant farmer relationships will be carried out with a sample of tenant farmers and landlords in the coming months.
  • The surveys have been carefully developed in collaboration with Tenant Farming Forum members including NFU Scotland (NFUS), Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Scotland, Scottish Tenant Farmers Association (STFA), Scottish Land and Estates (SLE) and Scottish Agricultural Arbiters and Valuers Association (SAAVA).
  • A report incorporating all the strands of the research will be published on the Scottish Government website later this year.

 Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006
 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 8/14


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