Tractor in the outer Isles


SCF Trials Mutton Pies at Black Isle Show

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mutton pies are making an appearance at the Black Isle show this year, courtesy of the Scottish Crofting Federation. (SCF)

SCF is in the early stages of developing a range of quality Crofters’ Pies under its Scottish Crofting Produce (SCP) label to help expand the market for mutton for hill crofters. The SCP label indicates low-input produce, grown extensively and to the highest standards of traceability and sustainability. In collaboration with the Ullapool Bakery, SCF will be offering tastings of a traditional Scotch pie and a spicy modern mutton pie at its stand to members and invited guests.

The SCP pie will restore the Scotch pie to its former glory, crammed full of prime young mutton. The spicy pie is also made from mutton and recognises changing tastes in the 21st century. Produced by Robin and Penny Calvert of Reidchalmai Croft, Rogart, the pie meat comes from a 16 month old sheep, grown slowly on ancient species rich grasslands and heather, and hung for about 18 days ensuring optimum flavour and tenderness.



Friday, July 02, 2010

The Scottish Crofting Federation have greeted the Crofting Reform Bill, voted through Parliament yesterday, as ‘a double edged sword’ but are confident that crofting will continue despite it.

Marina Dennis, convenor of the SCF crofting reform working group, said “We are pleased that the Bill has been voted through as parts of the existing legislation are not fit for purpose. Getting the Bill through means it can always be re-visited, but it is a double-edged sword. For example, we have always pressed for a map-based crofting register which has been voted through but the methods proposed by the government to implement this – the controversial compulsory ‘trigger’ system and the associated costs to crofters could have the effect of stagnating any movement of crofts. The government claim that this Bill is designed to free up crofts but this poorly thought out procedure could actually cause exactly the opposite. However, the SCF are working on a crofting community planning programme to help crofting communities to map their assets in a practical and empowering way. This will proceed despite the government’s intentions.”