Tractor in the outer Isles


Crofting ahead of the game in climate mitigation says Federation

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has welcomed the announcement of Scottish Government funding to support agriculture’s contribution to meeting Scotland’s climate change ambitions, with crofting leading the way.

“Funding for a new Agricultural Transformation Programme of, initially, £40 million to support changes that will benefit our environment is very welcome and not before time,” said SCF’s chair, Yvonne White. “Crofting takes place on some of Scotland’s most ecologically fragile areas and primary carbon sinks – the peatlands. We would like to see crofters being supported to manage these areas. Read in full here

Crofting Federation sets 2020 priorities

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Board and Council of the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) held its first meeting of the new year on Friday at which the campaign priorities for 2020 were set.

“As the only organisation dedicated to campaigning for crofters and fighting for the future of crofting,” said SCF’s chair Yvonne White, “this year is going to be busy with many fronts to cover on behalf of crofters. Leaving Europe on January 31st will bring many challenges with regards to trade of meat and croft produce, and agricultural support – especially the support of the less favoured areas which is due to be reviewed this year. It is absolutely imperative that crofters join together under one banner to protect our rights.” Ms White added, “We have had some significant wins in the past year, not least our campaign that got the convergence funding more fairly distributed. The benefit to crofters of this increased share of the rebate will pay for their subscription of SCF many times over. And there is the distribution of the second tranche yet to fight for.” Read more here .......

Crofting Federation looks for answers from leaders

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has sent the leaders of the Scottish parties a list of questions that are important to its membership, in advance of the forthcoming election.

“With so much apparent chaos and uncertainty now and in the foreseeable future,” said Yvonne White, chair of SCF, “it is imperative that Scottish party leaders give a clear indication as to their intentions concerning agriculture in our country and, more specifically, in the Highlands and Islands. Our questions to the leaders focus on crofters’ main concerns. For example, we ask for the parties’ aspirations for a trade deal with the EU after the transition period ends. What would they envisage appropriate export and import tariff levels on beef and lamb to be?

Read more here…...

Additional £10 million a step in the right direction says Crofting Federation

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Following a meeting with Scottish Government over the controversial allocation of convergence funding, Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has indicated that a further £10 million to be allocated to fragile areas is a small step in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go.

“It is appreciated that Mr Ewing has listened to us and is making the gesture of an additional £10 million this year for the fragile areas”, said SCF’s chair, Yvonne White following a meeting between SCF officials and the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing. Read more here

Crofting Federation wins argument for crofters and hill farmers

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has welcomed the Scottish Government announcement that the allocation of £160M convergence funding will adhere to the spirit and original premise of convergence agreed in Europe, as advocated by SCF.

“Following the long campaign to get the convergence uplift allocated to Scotland, as it should have been,” said SCF chair, Yvonne White, “it is gratifying to see that Scottish Government has listened to SCF’s arguments for a fair and principled distribution of the funding within Scotland. Convergence is about raising the income of the lowest paid producers towards the EU average. In Scotland these producers are crofters and hill farmers, many of whom are barely surviving – not helped by the very low payments for rough grazing. The bulk of the money should therefore rightfully go to regions 2 and 3. Read more here…

Crofting Federation advocates “fair use of convergence uplift”

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) suggests a more just and principled use of the ‘convergence uplift’ £160M received from Europe.

“Having righted the wrong concerning the CAP convergence uplift, whereby the £160 million has finally been allocated to Scotland as it should have been“, said SCF chair, Yvonne White, “It is now imperative that the use of this payment aligns with the principle under which it was devised in the first place.

“The EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework set out the aim of redistributing CAP payments more equitably across the EU, that all countries receiving less than 90% of the EU average would receive a funding uplift. Read more here…...

Highland and Moray Social Crofting Network grows with launch of website

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Following on from a successful inaugural event at Glachbeg croft on the Black Isle, the Scottish Crofting Federation’s social crofting initiative moved to Elchies in Moray to take the next steps to making this groundbreaking scheme a reality. Jointly funded by Moray Leader and Highland Leader this project furthers the principle of green care – the promotion of social, mental and physical wellbeing through working the land. The initiative seeks to develop the inputs from crofters and others who are interested in developing a formal network to explore this emerging labour market as an opportunity for diversification. Read more here…...

Crofting law deemed less important by Scottish Government

Friday, September 13, 2019

Responding to the announcement that crofting legislation is unlikely to proceed through parliament in this session, Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has taken this as a clear indication that crofting does not rank high on the government’s agenda.

“It came as a disappointment to see that crofting legislation did not appear on the Scottish Government’s ‘Programme for Government’ for this year“, said Yvonne White, chair of SCF. “But the announcement by Fergus Ewing that it is unlikely to proceed through parliament at all this session is shocking. Mr Ewing gave the clear commitment on many occasions that the first phase of the legislation, the really important stuff that effects crofters’ day to day lives, would be dealt with in this parliamentary session. Read in full here…..

Crofting Federation: it is crofters’ and hill farmers’ £160M back-pay

Friday, September 06, 2019

Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has laid down a marker on the £160 million agricultural ‘backpayment’ that has been returned to Scotland, pointing-out that it is crofters’ and hill-farmers’ low payments that secured it.

“It is very encouraging that the UK Government has honoured the Prime Minister’s pledge to pay the £160 million that has been owed to Scotland due to the below-average agricultural payments we receive“, said the chair of SCF, Yvonne White. “It is in great part down to the tenacity of the Scottish Government and Scottish producers that we won this, though it was clearly owed to us and it is shameful that we had to make such an effort to get what is due us.” Read in full here…..

Crofting Federation highlights need for land for croft new entrants

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Scottish Crofting Federation has commended the Scottish Government on its announcement of more land having been made available for new start-up farms and stresses that land must also be made available for croft new entrants.

“It is good news that Scottish Government is recognising the need to make more land available to new entrants to agriculture,” said Donald MacKinnon, vice-chair of SCF. “They have announced that 6,400 hectares of land have been contributed by public bodies to create new start-up farms. Both HIE and Highland Council have donated land but there is no mention of whether there has been consideration of the creation of new crofts on this land. It would be remiss if not”. Read in full here…..

Crofting Federation greets SNH admission that sea eagles do kill healthy lambs

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

SCF was pleased to see the publication of the sea eagle management plan by SNH last week, accompanied by an unequivocal admission that healthy lambs are killed by the birds.

SCF chair, Yvonne White, commented, “SCF is closely involved in trying to address the sea eagle issue, which results in sometimes devastating losses to crofters all along the western seaboard. So it is useful for all to see the sea eagle management plan published.

“We particularly welcome the fact that SNH has quite unequivocally stated that healthy lambs are taken. This has been long overdue and is the first time that SNH and, by implication, RSPB, who also sit on the national stakeholders’ group, have so publicly acknowledged this without reservations. It is something that crofters have known for the best part of 20 years.” Read more here….....

Crofting Federation endorses support to Scottish lamb marketing

Monday, May 20, 2019

Scottish Crofting Federation has welcomed government support to promotion of Scotch Lamb PGI and has emphasised the need for local abattoirs, to assure total traceability and provenance.

“It is very encouraging that Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon has announced £200,000 of new funding to Quality Meat Scotland to promote Scotch Lamb PGI”, said Russell Smith, SCF’s lead on agriculture. “It demonstrates faith in our sheep sector and the high quality meat that we produce, much of which starts life on croft grazings. High animal welfare, provenance and total traceability are essential for us to maintain our reputation for the very best quality lamb.” Read more here…..

Highlands and Islands Woodlands Handbook launched

Friday, May 10, 2019

​A new guide for crofters, communities and small woodland owners was launched at the Croft Woodland Conference on 9th May 2019.

The Highlands and Islands Woodlands Handbook, published by the Croft Woodlands Project is a comprehensive guide to establishing, managing and utilising woodland in the varied and often challenging conditions of the crofting counties. Written by Bernard Planterose, and including case studies from crofters across the region, the advice and guidance is based on decades of hands- on experience.

More information

SCF News Release: Federation denounces councillors for betraying crofting

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) reacted to a planning decision with strong criticism of Highland councillors who ignored the regulator and their own policy in advocating using productive inbye croft land for housing development.

“That these councillors claim to represent Highland interests is fallacy” said Yvonne White, Chair of the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF). “Crofting is deeply rooted in the Highland culture and communities. The croft inbye is the good land, the land that we need to protect for food production. It is scarce in the Highlands and Islands and, who knows, we may well be needing every scrap we can get in the near future. There is alternative land that is not suitable for food production available for houses. It is galling to hear councillors, who are supposed to be our representatives, say that housing trumps the need to protect croft inbye. Granting development consent on inbye is rarely necessary and these recent assertions demonstrate a disappointing degree of ignorance or bias against crofting”. Read more here…....

Balance needed between crofting and wildlife says Crofting Federation

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Scottish Crofting Federation has recently carried out an online survey about conflicts between wildlife and crofting, which demonstrates that there are some wildlife species whose numbers are threatening crofting incomes and livestock welfare.

Scottish Crofting Federation’s agriculture spokesman, Russell Smith, commented, “We have had a lot of feedback from members recently on the effects of the increasing numbers of geese, of incursions by deer and of predation by sea eagles, so we launched a survey to get at the facts. Read more .......