SCF Annual Gathering 2017 – Crofting’s place in Europe

Mr. Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity opened the event as keynote speaker and took multiple questions from the floor. He reiterated his personal and the Scottish government’s continued support for crofting.

Friday 10 March Session 1:


Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, from Fryslân, professor emeritus Wageningen Agricultural University and adjunct professor of rural sociology at the China Agricultural University in Beijing, opened the session. Using data from 26 years of research into farming styles, he made the case for small-scale agriculture, to be seen not as failed large farming but as a productive class in its own (often farming ‘economically’) and – contrary to expectations – not disappearing.

To download a copy of Jan Douwe van der Ploeg’s PowerPoint presentation as a Pdf (4 mbs) … Please click here

Gwyn Jones from Wales and director of the European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism. He worked for 20 years in the Highlands and Islands, mostly as a SAC advisor. He has carried out research on common grazings and on wider CAP support for crofting and presented data on Pillar two of the CAP, showing a mismatch between policy and implementation.

To download a copy of Gwyn Jone’s PowerPoint presentation as a Pdf (4 mbs) … Please click here

Steven G Thomson, Senior Agricultural Economist with 24 years of experience in agricultural and rural policy analysis, presented a comprehensive set of data on the First Pillar of CAP under the title “Crofting in Numbers”.

To download a copy of Steven Thomson’s PowerPoint presentation as a Pdf (5 mbs) … Please click here

Samuel Féret is the executive coordinator of ARC2020 (Agricultural and Rural Convention) since April 2013, a French NGO focused on analysing and promoting better food and farming policies in the EU. Together with Slow Food Youth Network leaders, he is the co-editor of a book “CAP What’s Cooking, Recipes to better understand the CAP”.

To download a copy of Samuel Féret’s PowerPoint presentation as a Pdf (1 mbs) … Please click here

Hanny van Geel spoke on behalf of the European Coordination Via Campesina, the European part of the global movement of La Via Campesina, of which SCF is a member. She is initiator of a young female farmers group and trainer of young (female) farmers and former chair of Nederlandse Akkerbouw Vakbond (Dutch Arable Farmers Association).

To download a copy of Hanny van Geel’s PowerPoint presentation as a Pdf (4 mbs) … Please click here

The last speaker, Robin Calvert, runs the 44 hectare croft Reidchalmai at Rogart with his wife Penny. “We have a fold of Highland cattle and buy-in lambs to sell on as gimmers, also free-range pigs and poultry, hay and some roots. Essence of the croft is to make it as self-supporting as possible whilst maintaining high standards of animal welfare” Most home-bred animals are used as the basis for his birth-to-plate business the ‘Well Hung Lamb Co.’ which has been running since 2001 through the on- the- croft butchering unit. He made a plea for crofters to beat the drum louder for crofting meat.

Saturday 11 March Session

Dr Michael Russell, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe. The opening speech – Scotland’s Position in Brexit – is available to view here.

A summary of the presentation by Bill Barron, Chief Executive, Crofting Commission is available in the latest edition of the Crofter (111).

January 23 @ 09:00
09:00 — 15:00 (6h)