Barra – 6th, 7th, 8th October 2008
"Crofting – Delivering The Goods"
Every year we say "This is a very significant time for crofting" but this year this is probably more true than ever before. CAP reforms have meant that support to food production and land management is changing with the emphasis on delivery of ‘public goods’. However there is increasing concern about food security and there is consequently a movement towards home-grown food production increasing. There is also increased consumer demand for more traceable, eco-friendly food. Both opportunities for crofters to increase their contribution to food supply.
Crofting has been under the scrutiny of the Committee of Inquiry on Crofting (CoIoC) for the past year and the final report highlights crofting’s contribution to sustainable Scottish rural development.
This year’s SCF annual gathering is therefore based on the theme of what crofting delivers. We are taking two significant aspects; croft produce and the crofting reform proposals related to the CoIoC recommendations.
‘Croft produce’ will be supported by speakers who are specialists in related areas such as the promotion of ‘good food’ (ethical, eco-friendly etc), direct marketing, marketing a ‘niche’ product and using the environment as a selling point. The Scottish Crofting Produce Mark will be launched by the Minister for Crofting, Michael Russell MSP.
The ‘crofting reform’ part of the programme is looking at what reforms are needed in crofting and the related legislation to enable crofting to deliver ‘public goods’ and to find markets for their produce. Professor Mark Shucksmith, Chair of the CoIoC, will be available to talk about the conclusions the Committee of Inquiry on Crofting came to and the Minister for Crofting, Michael Russell MSP will outline what the Scottish Government intend to take forward. He will be available for questions following his address. We also will have Scottish Government officials involved in crofting legislation who will take part in a workshop to discuss the proposed reforms.
The programme also includes the second in the series of the Angus MacRae Memorial Debate and there will be field visits to local enterprises.
Pictures from the 2008 Gathering on Barra
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