Tractor in the outer Isles

News

Crofting development posts crucial says Federation

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has welcomed the announcement that four new crofting development posts will be created for the Crofting Commission in the Western Isles as “a crucial and timely initiative”.

“This is very welcome news“, said Donald MacKinnon, vice-chair of SCF and a Lewis-based crofter. “We have been arguing for the crofting development role of the Crofting Commission to be expanded and it is gratifying to see that Scottish Government has taken this on board and is supplying additional funding for the creation of four outreach posts.” Read more here….

AGM Postponed

Thursday, June 18, 2020

We have had to take the decision to postpone this year’s AGM scheduled to take place on Friday 17th July in the Spectrum Centre, Inverness. Look out for details of the rescheduled AGM in the next edition of The Crofter and meantime if you have any issues that you would like to address please get in touch by emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Crofting Federation supports Scottish Government call for Brexit extension

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has welcomed the research report produced by Scottish Government which makes it clear that a Brexit extension is essential to Scotland’s economy.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is, quite rightly, absorbing considerable resources from all our national governments”, said Yvonne White, chair of the crofters’ federation. There is no doubt that it is impossible to conclude a comprehensive trade deal with the European Union before the end of 2020. It is therefore essential that the UK government agrees a two-year extension to the transition period with the EU. Read more here .......

Crofting Federation on Crofting Agriculture Grant

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has submitted views to the first part of the Crofting Agriculture Grant Scheme review, asking for it to be extended to all crops including trees.

“This scheme is very important to crofters and to the local economy”, said Yvonne White, chair of the crofters’ federation. “It is a well-used development mechanism and provides a very valuable contribution to crofting land-based production, so that crofts can prosper and contribute to rural economies and population retention. If there has been any lack of use, as was the case some years ago, it has been because of restrictions within the scheme rules. If the scheme is designed to be pragmatic it will be well used. Indeed the budget could be increased, and every penny would be contributing significantly to the wellbeing of rural communities. We therefore welcome this review and the aim of ensuring that the scheme works well.” Read more here…....

Survey highlights crofters’ Covid-19 concerns

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The responses from a survey put out to crofters by the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) reveal access to cash-flow, labour, contractors, supplies and veterinary care as the main problems faced due to Covid-19.

“We have had a very good response to our survey“, said Yvonne White, chair of the crofters’ representative body. “The statistics are stark with over a third of the respondents citing cash-flow as a major worry. Many crofters supply food and accommodation to the local market. Abattoirs have not been taking private kills, hotels and restaurants are closed and on-croft accommodation bookings are cancelled. This would normally be the time of year to start seeing money coming back in after the long winter, but it is not materialising.” Read more here

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…..