Scottish organic farmers to meet Rural Affairs Minister

Scottish Organic Producers Association (SOPA) will have the chance to meet Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gourgeon.

The gathering on February 6 will give SOPA’s members the chance to engage informally with the Minister over their concerns about organic food and farming in Scotland.

Mairi Gourgeon was appointed Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment in June 2018 and was elected as the Scottish National Party MSP for Angus North and Mearns in the 2016 Parliamentary election.

The evening will include a light supper and an opportunity to chat with fellow organic producers and processors from the Tayside, Angus and Kincardineshire area.

This free event for SOPA Members will take place on February 6 at The Finavon Hotel near Forfar. Members are encouraged to register their interest at on the group’s Eventbrite page.

SOPA (Scottish Organic Producers Association) has led the Scottish organic sector since 1988, operating as a member co-operative representing more organic businesses in Scotland than any other organisation.

The association is the UK’s only membership-based, not for profit organic co-operative, governed by a board of directors, all of whom are rooted in the organic industry in Scotland.

The 300-strong organisation also holds the only Scottish-based organic standards for farmers, growers and processors.

Debs Roberts, SOPA policy manager, said: “We are pleased to have Mairi Gougeon attending our members’ event, and we think it will be a useful opportunity to discuss the current challenges facing the organic industry in Scotland, especially the lack of an AECS Organic Conversion application window this year.

Events like this allow us to catch up with members face-to-face and gives them the chance to ask questions or flag up any problems, which we can help solve.