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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 .......

SCF meetings find potential for crofting after Brexit

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Scottish Crofting Federation has just concluded a short tour of membership meetings in Lewis and Shetland which had as their theme ‘Threats to Crofting’. A very encouraging turnout and intense degree of engagement at the meetings keenly illustrated the high level of concern amongst crofters.

Read more here ...

Crofting Federation appoints new chair

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Yvonne White, a crofter from Kingsburgh on the Isle of Skye, has been appointed to lead the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF). At a board and council meeting held in Inverness last Friday, two new vice-chairs were also nominated and approved.

“It is a great honour to be appointed to this important role” said Yvonne White, the new chair of SCF, “and not a little daunting. I have to fill the shoes of our immediate past chair, Russell Smith, and also follow on from an impressive line of previous chairs. However, they have all helped to build a vibrant federation that is the only organisation solely dedicated to fighting for crofting. We have our work cut out but we have a strong team to represent our members.” Read more here…...

Crofting Federation assured by government that less favoured area support will be maintained

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has received assurance from the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing, that he is absolutely committed to maintaining Less Favoured Area Support at 80% of the 2018 funding level for the next financial years 2019 and 2020.

“Less Favoured Area payments (LFASS) are vital for those of us in the Highlands & Islands who face natural constraints,” said Russell Smith, Chair of the Scottish Crofting Federation, “so the prospect of this support being cut to 80% in 2019 and then to only 40% in 2020 was unthinkable. Read more here…

Crofting must get support for disadvantage, warns Federation

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) warns that crofting is seriously threatened by the drastic cuts to Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme (LFASS) announced by the Scottish Government.

“Reducing the Less Favoured Areas support to 80% of current rates for 2019 sends out a very negative message, but we can live with it”, SCF Chair, Russell Smith, stated, “but to then cut it to a mere 40% for 2020 will be ruinous. The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing, has consistently said that further proposed cuts would be “unacceptable” and that he would fight them. Being told now that this vital support to crofters will be reduced to 40% next year is a slap in the face to us in the less favoured areas and indicates failure on the part of Scottish Government. Read more here ......

Crofters wary about the future

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

A survey of crofters’ attitudes taken this month by the Scottish Crofting Federation shows that crofters are wary of the future of the livestock industry in the Highlands and Islands.

Only 14% of respondents are confident about the future, as compared to more than twice that number who are despondent (31%). Fifty five per cent said they were uncertain, citing Brexit and the knock-on effect that might have on prices and support payments. Read more here

Crofting Cabinet Secretary upbeat on future at Federation event

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The Scottish Crofting Federation was delighted that the Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy attended the Spirit of Crofting event in Rothes, Moray on Friday 5th October. Mr. Ewing gave an upbeat speech about the immediate outlook for crofting – despite the looming ‘bùrach’, as he called it, of Brexit.

“He reminded us at the outset about the extent to which crofters’ rights had to be fought for,” said SCF’s chair Russell Smith, “touching on the Battle of the Braes and the memorial to the returning servicemen’s struggle for land in Upper Coll, Lewis, that he visited recently. The years of struggle for land rights are still fresh in the minds of many in the Crofting Counties, and we must not forget this in reforming the legislation. But Mr Ewing was here to ‘celebrate that indomitable crofting spirit’ and the ‘commitment, passion, determination and fortitude shown by a very special community of people, unique to Scotland - the crofting community’.

Read more . . .

Federation event celebrates the role of young people in crofting

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) was delighted to recognise young crofters with an awards ceremony at the ‘Celebrating the Spirit of Crofting’ event in Rothes, Moray last Friday.The ‘Euan MacRae Best Crofting Newcomer Award’ is for new entrants with a keen interest in the land who may have made a start in crofting or are on the road to doing so. This award is named after Euan MacRae of Drumbeg, Sutherland, a young and infectiously enthusiastic crofter who sadly passed away in summer 2017 just after his 19th birthday.

The ‘Young Crofter of the Year Award’ is aimed at those aged 40 and under who have taken their first steps on the crofting ladder or have established themselves in crofting, and are good examples of best practice and success within their field.

Read more . . .

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Crofting Federation calls on the Comhairle to provide concrete assurances on abattoir provision in Stornoway

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) calls on Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to provide reassurance to the crofting community of Lewis and Harris, following a report before the Comhairle’s Policy and Resources committee on the 2nd October which outlined proposals for the sale of the current Stornoway abattoir site to a developer and the, apparently unplanned,relocation of the service.

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New Zealand leader of women in agriculture visits Scotland

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Lindy Nelson, the CEO of the New Zealand Agri-Women`s Development Trust, will be speaking at Dewars Centre, Perth on Thursday 4 October 2018 at 19:30.

2013 Business Woman of the Year, named by Primary Magazine as one of the top ten women in agriculture and Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to agriculture and women, Lindy Nelson is a sheep and beef farmer regarded by many as a visionary leader. She is currently visiting Scotland. The full press release including details of how to book for this event can be found here.

Lindy Nelson will also be addressing the SCF Celebrating the Spirit of Crofting event in Rothes this Friday. Limited tickets are available here.

Crofting Federation announces short-list of nominations for young crofter awards

Friday, September 14, 2018

Next month, two awards will be made by the Scottish Crofting Federation following a call for nominations for Young Crofter of the Year and Best Newcomer Crofter 2018. The drive for the award is the Year of Young People 2018 and as such will celebrate the role of young people in crofting.

The awards will be made at a special dinner which will be held during the Celebrating the Spirit of Crofting event on 5th October 2018 at Rothes, Moray and presented by Mel Irivine of Drummuir, one of the stars of BBC TV “This Farming Life”.

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Payments transition an opportunity to get things right for Crofting says SCF

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has emphasised in its response to the government ‘Stability and Simplicity’ consultation that change is urgently needed in the agricultural and rural development payments regime in order to get a fair deal for crofters.

Read full article here…

To read the full consultation response, click here.