Scottish tenant farmers must make the most of the opportunity to express their personal experiences of the sector in the forthcoming review of the Agricultural Holdings legislation, the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association (STFA) said yesterday.
“The government will be undertaking a detailed survey of tenant farmers over the coming months and it is vitally important that tenants respond,” said STFA spokesman Angus McCall.
“It has been made clear that the outcome of the review will be evidence-based and so it is important that we are able to justify the changes we wish to be made. We hope that individual tenants will be willing to take part in this process.
Anticipating the review, which will commence in the coming weeks after being announced by rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead at the Highland Show earlier this year, the association’s chairman, Christopher Nicholson, said: “The feeling of widespread dissatisfaction from the tenanted sector over the last few years has not gone unnoticed and the scope of the review has been dramatically expanded to encompass a root and branch examination of how the tenanted sector is currently working.”
Writing in the association’s autumn newsletter he emphasised that the cabinet secretary had said that he would like to see case studies of tenants’ situations and hear their views:
“First hand experiences are far more powerful than generalised arguments, so please share yours to help influence the cabinet secretary and the government to bring about the necessary changes,” he said.
He added that tenants wishing to take part in the consultation process should contact the association and stressed that all submissions of individual’s views or evidence would be treated in absolute confidence by all concerned.