With NFU Scotland’s programme of regular regional meetings with local politicians brought to a halt during Covid-19, the union has turned to an online solution to keep up its political engagement.

For many years now, NFU Scotland’s regions - Ayrshire, Argyll & the Islands, Dumfries & Galloway, Forth & Clyde, Lothian & Borders, East Central, North East, Highlands, Orkney & Shetland - have held regular face-to-face meetings with elected representatives.

These meetings were held to discuss the key national, regional and local issues for the nation's farmers and crofters.

To keep up the engagement, all MPs and MSPs have been sent an invitation to participate in a programme of 12 video-conference meetings, starting on Friday, May 22 and ending on Friday, June 12.

Video-conference meetings

The politicians will be joined online by NFU Scotland’s regional representatives to ensure the political dialogue continues during these very challenging times.

NFU Scotland director of regions Teresa Dougall said: “The opportunity for local engagement with our politicians has always been hugely appreciated by NFU Scotland members.

"Due to the current lockdown under Covid-19, we are unable to organise our normal face-to-face parliamentarian meetings in our regions.

However, given the importance we place on these discussions, we have decided to organise a Scotland-wide series of video-conference meetings to allow the NFU Scotland regional team and members to keep in touch. We hope as many parliamentarians can join us as possible.

"The meetings will focus on Covid-19 and on the response from the agricultural and food sectors in these times of crisis.

"However, as we start to give thought to recovery, it will be important to have major issues like Brexit, climate change and food supply chains also on the agenda," concluded Dougall.