The Scottish Parliament

Consultations

SCF Submission to Rural Housing Inquiry

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Scottish Crofting Foundation (SCF) is pleased to offer the following evidence to the Scottish Parliament rural housing enquiry.

SCF is the only representative organisation for crofters and crofting in Scotland. There are approximately 18,000 crofts in the ‘crofting counties’ of Inverness, Argyll, Orkney, Shetland and Eileanan an Iar. Crofters and their families comprise around 10%, or 30,000, of the Highlands and Islands population forming 30% of households on the mainland and 65% of households in Skye, Eileanan an Iar and Shetland. Average crofting household income is £21,000, and crofting provides around 30% of that income1. 25% of agricultural land in the Highlands and Islands is under crofting tenure. Crofting has been successful in maintaining populations in some of Scotland’s most remote areas by giving people access to land, homes and jobs. Housing support given to crofters has historically given excellent value for public money in rural housing provision, but that support has been massively devalued over the last twenty years.

Housing_Inquiry_SCF_submission.pdf

SCF contibution to the Food Policy Discussion

Friday, April 25, 2008

Scottish Crofting Foundation (SCF) is pleased to offer the following contribution to the discussion on the National Food Policy for Scotland. SCF is the only representative and campaigning organisation for crofters and crofting in Scotland. We congratulate the Scottish Government on this policy initiative which has far reaching importance for our members.

Food production in Scotland must concentrate on quality, local provision, provenance and environment. Maintaining food production, especially livestock, in upland, peripheral and island areas is of inestimable social, economic and environmental importance. Small scale agriculture, such as crofting, has been successful in maintaining populations in some of Scotland’s most remote areas. By contrast, industrial scale agriculture driven by a commercial UK food policy, whether in the Straths of Sutherland or the arable prairies of the East of England, has cleared rural populations leaving a degraded environment and a countryside that is the preserve of the very rich.

Food_Policy_Discussion.pdf