UK food and drink sales hit £20bn across the world

Global sales of the UK’s food and drink have hit the £20 billion mark for the first time, UK environment secretary Andrea Leadsom is due to announce today.

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Average prices at the bull sales were up �391 on the year. Picture: Bill Henry

Simmentals go down a storm at Stirling bull sales

The Simmental breed met with a flying trade at yesterday’s Stirling bull sales, with averages up £391 on the year for 120 bulls sold, a clearance rate of 75 per cent and two bulls selling for more than 20,000 gns.

Eating food in season has become a thing of the past. Picture: Neil Hanna

Lettuce consider the real food crisis facing us all

In one way it was difficult not to laugh or have a brief rant about human stupidity. But in two other ways the story deserved consideration.

Industry leaders hope the restrictions could be lifted in May. Picture: John Devlin

BSE regulations ‘might be lifted in coming months’

Regulations put in place more than a decade ago following the outbreak of BSE in this country could be lifted in little more than a couple of months’ time, according to a leading expert in the sheep industry.

Researchers say new varieties could be developed for specific health benefits. Picture: Bill Henry

Eating soft fruit could help fight against diabetes

It has been known for some time that eating soft fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries is good for you.

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'We have to do more to get people eating more lamb,' said Sybil MacPherson. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Domestic lamb consumption key to sheep industry success

The future of the sheep industry lies in persuading more home consumption of lamb, according to the retiring chairwoman of the National Sheep Association (NSA).

Professor Lee Innes is in the running for a Scottish Knowledge Exchange award. Picture: Contributed

Professor Lee Innes shortlisted for research award

Professor Lee Innes, the highly respected director of communications at the Moredun Institute, has been shortlisted for a ­prestigious award that recognises exceptional efforts in ensuring research work is put to sound commercial use.

Scotland's red meat has a reputation for quality across Europe. Picture: Gary Hutchison

Government must secure fair deal for meat sector

Scotland’s high-quality red meat will continue to attract European Union customers based on its hard-earned reputation and the commitment of existing buyers to Scotch meat as a “top-end” item on restaurant menus.

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No New Zealand lamb will be sold in M&S's Scottish outlets. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

M&S moves to stocking 100% Scotch lamb all year round

Marks & Spencer’s commitment to providing only Scotch lamb in its Scottish stores will lead to a demand for an extra 10,000 to 12,000 lamb this season.

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Royal Smithfield Club's livestock competitions have come to an end. Picture: Toby Williams

Royal Smithfield Club calls halt to livestock contests

The Royal Smithfield Club, linked for more than two hundred years with holding some of the top primestock and carcase competitions in the UK, has announced that it will no longer do so.

Fergus Ewing has issued a clarion call for the devolved administrations to rally together. Picture: John Devlin

Little betwixt us and agricultural Armageddon

You’ve probably had a wry smile at the Twix advert on TV with the two feuding Victorian brothers who make the biscuits.

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James Mackie displays his wares at Barnhill Farm, Inchinnan. Picture: John Devlin

Insight: Vegetable shortage a boon for farmers and consumers

Far from being a crisis, many believe the vegetable shortage will prove to be a boon for farmers and consumers, writes Dani Garavelli

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Scotland's forestry sector is dominated by Sitka spruce. Picture: Neil Hanna

Martin Waddell: The dark side of Scottish forestry

The Scottish forestry industry – worth £1 billion and growing – has been a notable success, bucking the downturn trend experienced across many sectors since 2008.

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Poultry will be allowed outside at the end of the month if extra biosecurity steps are taken. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Free-range producers welcome ‘pragmatic’ bird flu ruling

The “pragmatic” approach announced yesterday by the Scottish Government for continued controls on poultry and other birds aimed at reducing the risks of avian flu – while allowing the country’s £46 million free range sector to continue – was broadly welcomed by farmers and keepers around Scotland.

Industry leaders said legislation has not kept up with current machinery. Picture: Esme Allen

Frustration as road weight limit increase scrapped

Farmers and contractors have expressed frustration at the shelving of plans which would have allowed higher combination weights of agricultural tractors and trailers – the decision was termed “a backwards step for a modern farming industry”.

Small-scale hydro power schemes are facing a sharp rise in rateable valuations. Picture: Contributed

Farm-based hydro plants face ‘ruinous’ rates rises

Growing concern is being voiced about the substantial rise in rateable valuations faced by farmers and landowners who have installed small and mid-scale renewable projects, especially hydro electric schemes.

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Losing access to the EU market is a 'considerable threat', warned QMS chairman Jim McLaren. Picture: Alan Richardson

Jim McLaren warns of Brexit risks to meat producers

As the UK government moves closer to triggering Article 50, it is becoming clear that Brexit will have considerable implications for all regions and sectors of UK agriculture.

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Nicola Sturgeon said powers 'should not be sucked away to the centre at Westminster'. Picture: John Devlin

Farming policy ‘must be decided in Scotland’

There should be no question that the responsibility for Scotland’s agricultural policy should remain anywhere else other than with the Scottish Parliament – that was the clear message to farmers from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday.

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Andrew McCornick is flanked by new NFU Scotland vice-presidents Gary Mitchell, left, and Martin Kennedy. Picture: Paul Watt

New team voted in at helm of NFU Scotland

It was a case of “all change” at the top table of NFU Scotland yesterday, with a new president and two new vice-presidents elected.

NFU Scotland president Allan Bowie called for a pragmatic post-Brexit plan. Picture: Contributed

Working together ‘only way for post-Brexit farming’

A call was made yesterday for an end to the political turf war over which political administration would decide farming policy – amid claims that it was acting as a drag on efforts to formulate a policy for Scottish agriculture in the post-Brexit world.

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