NFU Scotland calls for clear commitment to Scottish agriculture in spending review

NFU Scotland is looking to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to show a clear commitment to supporting Scottish agriculture when he makes his spending review announcement.

NFU Scotland has accepted that in the wake of Covid-19 and the end of the Brexit transition, Scottish agriculture will have to change significantly and adapt to a new operating environment which will not be “business as usual”.

Ahead of the UK government’s much-anticipated Spending Review, an NFU Scotland briefing has set out to the Treasury what it sees as the need for vital investment in agriculture and rural development to enable farming and crofting to deliver on the increased expectations being placed on the sector.

‘The pivotal role that agriculture plays’

NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said:

“The pivotal role that agriculture plays in the Scottish economy cannot be overstated nor can its needs be overlooked if recovery is to be effective and sustained.

We need the Chancellor and Treasury to stand by farmers and crofters at this hugely challenging time for the agricultural sector and put them at the centre of the nation’s green recovery.

“Regardless of whether we leave the EU with or without a trade deal, it is clear that markets and supply chains must adapt to survive and thrive, and delivery of agricultural support will be realigned to meet amended policy goals.

Delivering the same quantum of funding to Scottish agriculture as it received under the Common Agricultural Policy [CAP], as promised in two Conservative election manifestos, will ensure it continues to underpin our vibrant food and drink manufacturing sector, environment and climate change obligations and drive Scotland’s post-Covid-19 recovery.

“As the cornerstone of rural Scotland, the agricultural sector and agricultural land use are the foundation upon which economic growth and prosperity can be built, including in sectors such as food and drink, tourism and renewable energy,” he concluded.