Tractor in the outer Isles


NEWS RELEASE: Crofting support is shown to be lacking, says Federation

Monday, July 30, 2018

Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has welcomed the research report ‘Support for Crofting’ released today by the Crofting Commission, saying it demonstrates that crofting support is lacking and needs to be redesigned.

“This impartial and well-presented research clearly shows that existing support mechanisms do not work as well as they could for crofting” said Russell Smith, Chair of the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF). “The researcher, Gwyn Jones, examines what works and what does not, and goes on to make recommendations on how support can be improved. This is very timely with the interim phase to agricultural and rural development support being explored in the Scottish Government consultation ‘Stability and Simplicity’, and with the on-going discussions being held on what the Scottish rural support system will look like post-Brexit.

Mr Smith went on, “We are very pleased that the Crofting Commission has taken the initiative to have this research carried out under their remit to ‘promote the interests of crofting and to keep under review matters relating to crofting’ and they selected a very experienced and applied consultant to do the job. It demonstrates a proactive Commission that is willing to be more than just a regulator. We welcome this development of the government agency for crofting.” Read in full here ....

Crofting Federation rates National Council of Rural Advisors’ consultation as “shallow”

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has submitted a response to the National Council of Rural Advisors’ consultation on rural development post-Brexit, branding it as shallow and lacking substance.

“It is all well and good to go over the same old issues of what is holding rural Scotland back” said Russell Smith, Chair of the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF), “but we were hoping that this consultation would be about how Brexit will affect rural development in Scotland and what a Rural Economic Strategy will need to look like to cope with the inevitable changes. The remit of the National Council of Rural Advisors (NCRA) is ‘to provide evidence-based advice on the implications of Scotland leaving the EU and to recommend future actions that could sustain a vibrant and flourishing rural economy’. The consultation itself doesn’t frame any questions in the context of Brexit but rather focuses on problems that exist despite Brexit and doesn’t offer any suggested solutions to further problems that Brexit will bring. It therefore comes across as being shallow and lacking substance.” Read more here…..

Chair, Russell Smith, urges you to comment on Stability and Simplicity proposals for post Brexit policy

Monday, July 23, 2018

I wasn’t going to write about Brexit this month but you just can’t escape it. The most recent proposals from the UK government Chequers away day appear to pledge that we will stick to the EU animal health and welfare standards (I say “appear” as we have to see the detail and then see if the proposals are agreed by parliament and then agreed by the EU – two big “ifs” but that is all we have to plan around). This is good news for our high welfare, high provenance, high nature value beef and lamb. No hormone pumped beef would be allowed to undercut our home reared product. And the Scotch Lamb and Scotch Beef brands should be protected.

There is also a consultation out from the Scottish Government which sets out questions and ideas for post Brexit policy “Stability and Simplicity proposals for a rural funding transition period”. I urge you to read it and comment as the voice of crofters and hill farmers needs to be heard at least as loudly as the big farms of Aberdeenshire, Angus and the Lothians. Read more here…...

Assynt Crofters Trust 25th Anniversary Celebrations - watch the Allan MacRae Memorial Debate

Thursday, July 12, 2018

SCF was delighted to be able to host the Allan MacRae Memorial debate as part of the ACT’s 25th Anniversary celebrations. The motion: “This house believes Land Reform measures in Scotland to date have done little to further their primary objective of greater social justice”.
The motion was supported by Peter Peacock, former policy director of Community Land Scotland, and was opposed by Iain MacKinnon, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience [CAWR].​ You can view the debate here