Tractor in the outer Isles

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Crofting Skills Training Opportunities

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Scottish Crofting Federation is pleased to announce the appointment of a partnership that will run their Crofting Skills Training Programme 2013 – 2015 throughout the Crofting Counties. Tina Hartley and Lucy Beattie will be based in Ullapool and aim to provide a wide range of entry level and crofting skills based courses. Tina and Lucy have a robust background both in Agriculture and Business management and are looking forward to the exciting challenge of developing and delivering the programme.

The courses are aimed at aspiring, new and existing crofters and small holders and are funded with support from the Scottish Government’s Skills Development Scheme and HIE. The training courses are aimed at people interested in developing knowledge and skills in crofting, both for new entrants and to support existing crofters in best practice and improving performance.

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Skye and Lochalsh Abattoir could be viable says Report

Monday, June 03, 2013

A study commissioned by Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) and carried out by SAC Consulting has given a positive view of prospects for a micro abattoir development for the Skye and Lochalsh area. The Scottish Government-funded report was presented to Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment, at last week’s ‘Highland Sheep’ event in Dingwall.

The report envisages a facility with maximum capacity for 4000 sheep, 200 cattle and 130 pigs per year. However, projected initial throughput would be 100 cattle, 800 sheep and 130 pigs. This could result in a modest profit if the development, projected to cost in the region of £570,000, was fully funded. The report points out that island and remote mainland abattoirs cannot be seen as stand-alone businesses, but as an important part of rural infrastructure. The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that animals are slaughtered as close to where they are reared as possible and to shortening the food production and distribution chain.

An SCF spokesperson said, “We thank SAC Consulting for a very thorough and thought-provoking report. This is an important step on a long road and our abattoir working group will be studying their recommendations carefully before deciding on a way forward.”

The report will be launched at a public meeting to be announced, and the full document is available here:

Preliminary study for micro abattoir in Skye & Lochalsh