The National Farmers’ Union of Scotland (NFUS) has today (Wednesday, December 14) launched a survey to gauge the impact of rising input costs on the future production plans of farmers and crofters.

The union is seeking to assess the scale of change that input costs and flat-lining output prices are having on business plans.

The survey is now live and can be accessed via the NFUS website. All those who take part will be entered into a free draw for a hamper of Scottish food valued at £200.

The survey, which will close on January 10, 2023, will be used by NFUS when lobbying UK government and Scottish government officials.

The union aims for it to also add significant weight to lobbying efforts with retailers on the need for fairer pricing and greater equity in supply chains.

Altering of production plans

In June of 2022, the union conducted a short-life intentions survey which found that, out of 340 responses, 92% of respondents had already altered production plans.

The biggest reductions in output occurred in livestock, pigs, poultry and horticulture, the union said.

Commenting on the survey, NFUS President Martin Kennedy said: “We must keep food security at the top of the political agenda. But to do that, we must have a robust evidence base to inform our discussions with politicians, stakeholders and the wider agri-food supply chain, including consumers.

“The results in June pointed to significant ramifications for our food and drink sector and all those businesses upstream and downstream who rely on farmers and crofters. We need to know if that picture has deteriorated.

“Tens of thousands of jobs in the food and drink industry in Scotland are reliant on us having a critical mass of production to feed into our processing and manufacturing sector.

“And scores of businesses that supply to farming and crofting businesses are dependent on a thriving and productive agricultural industry in Scotland. 

“And retailers need to take heed of the results. We went to great lengths earlier this year to highlight to supermarkets the impact that prohibitive costs were having on those who produce eggs and the need to pay producers a fair price.

“Those warnings were ignored, and we are now faced with restricted sales in some shops because of shortages and retailers finally waking up to the damage their short-term approach to pricing has caused.”