Scottish farm produce offers best bet

The next Scottish government should support farmers by using procurement powers to support domestically produced food as a means of ensuring high environmental and production standards, according to Scottish Land and Estates (SLE).

Releasing its election manifesto demands, SLE said that favouring Scottish produce offered the best option for the health of nation, minimised the impact on the environment - while supporting rural businesses.

Calling for clear long-term thinking for rural policies to give businesses the confidence to plan for the future, SLE’s Chief Executive Sarah Jane Laing said this would allow agriculture, forestry and other industries to move forward together.

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“In Scotland we have one of the best farming and agricultural sectors in the world,” said Laing.

“Our food standards with respect to both quality and the environmental standards our farmers meet to produce it, are the envy of countries around the world.”

She said that supporting the rural sector would help rebuild the economy and both save and create jobs.

“We have to value our high-quality Scottish produce and back farmers after what has been a very difficult period. The next government must lead the way in showing support.

“One way to show support is by using public procurement powers to support domestically produced food. This would not only support our farmers but also create a cascade benefit of investment in rural Scotland throughout the supply chain.”

She also called for more measures to tackle and prevent incidences of fly-tipping and irresponsible access, along with greater support for mental health in rural Scotland.

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