Tractor in the outer Isles

News

SCF Goose Petition Heard by Rural Affairs Committee

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) appeared before the Scottish Parliament Rural Affairs Committee to support the petition raised by the SCF calling for government action on the wild goose epidemic in crofting areas.

“It is undisputed that there is a problem with wild goose populations escalating and out of control in crofting areas” said SCF Chief Executive Patrick Krause. “But Scottish Government cut the budget in 2008 and so we are petitioning the Scottish Parliament to support our call on the government to increase resources, especially to areas such as the Uists where the greylag geese are threatening the future of crofting”.

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Skye and Lochalsh Micro Abattoir Consumer Survey

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Skye & Lochalsh Meat Supply Group is taking forward a proposal to establish a Micro Abattoir Unit for the area. The abattoir will have a proposed throughput of a minimum of 800 sheep, 100 cattle and 130 pigs p.a.

Your opinion and input into the development process is greatly valued and will inform the business plan.

We have two surveys:one for Individuals and Households and one for Businesses. Filling out the survey should take no longer than 5 minutes. The closing date for responses is the 17th of July 2014. Links to the surveys can be found below:

Skye & Lochalsh Micro Abattoir Consumer Survey - Individual/Household

Skye & Lochalsh Micro Abattoir Business Consumer Survey

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Crofters Fear They Are Being Sacrificed

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has an initial “apprehensive” response from its members regarding the recent announcement of the new Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).

“Crofters are finding the implications of the Cabinet Secretary’s announcement difficult to work out” said SCF Director Joyce Wilkinson. “There is a lot of ‘spin’ and unknown detail, so it is hard to get a grip on what will happen to us. I think that many fear that, for those keeping cattle on the rougher ground, it will be the end.”

Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead announced that the rough grazing would be split into two regions with the larger one, extensive hill ground where many common grazings are found, receiving 10 euros per hectare (against high quality land receiving 220 euros per hectare).

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Crofters’ Training Seminar “Joins Up The Dots”

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) ran a very well-received debut intermediate-level crofting training seminar in Newtonmore last week on ‘Sustain, Diversify and Grow’ crofting enterprise.

“Diversification is a trade-mark of crofting” said SCF’s Chief Executive, Patrick Krause, who opened the seminar on Friday. “A well-rehearsed piece of advice given to farm businesses over the past couple of decades has been to diversify” he continued “and this is of course what has given crofting resilience. Crofters have always had multiple income streams and are very adept at creating on-croft enterprises. The examples are themselves diverse, from traditional livestock and livestock products, to exotics such as Llama and ornamental poultry breeding; from fruit and vegetables to ‘cyber-crofting’. So we are not trying to teach grandmother to suck eggs, but have convened this seminar to explore and share ideas”.

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Skye and Lochalsh Abattoir Moves Forward

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

An abattoir for the Skye and Lochalsh area has moved a significant step closer with the engagement of a project officer to take the plans forward.

Skye and Lochalsh Meat Supply Group (SLMSG) has appointed Rachael Jackson to bring the abattoir to reality, following the publication of a report last year by Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) which concluded that a micro-abattoir could be viable.

Rachael, who farms at Orbost with husband Keith, will be contracted for eight months to bring the project towards a “shovel ready” stage, including developing a funding package. Her remit will also include obtaining estimates, identifying a site from the options in the report, and starting discussions on planning issues, waste management and meat inspection, as well as establishing contact with operators of other remote and island abattoirs and determining the optimum business structure. Rachael will be assisted in technical design by Peadar Ó Donnghaile of MacTec (Scotland) Ltd.

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