Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has today (Thursday) highlighted the need for farmers to have access to a wide range of measures to enable them to contribute to reducing emissions.
During a Members Business Debate on the role of Scottish Agriculture in tackling climate change, Mr McArthur also recognised the high standards set by Scottish farmers and argued that future trade agreements must ensure that food imports also meet those standards.
Following the debate, Mr McArthur commented:
“Scotland’s farming sector deserves credit for the high standards it achieves in animal welfare as well as efforts to reduce its environmental impacts. More of course needs to be done, not least if we are to meet the challenge of the climate emergency, but I have no doubt that farmers in Orkney and across the country are up for meeting that challenge.
“In order to be able to do that, however, they will need access to a broad range of measures, reflecting the different circumstances and approaches to agriculture across the country. This will allow each to make a meaningful contribution to reducing emissions, improving sustainability while safeguarding a sector that plays a crucial role within our economy.
“It is also important that any future trade agreements negotiated hold food imports to the same high standards we require of our domestic food producers. It makes no sense to demand standards of our own farming sector that we are prepared to ignore when it comes to those importing food into the UK. This is not an unreasonable demand from the NFUS and I am pleased it is one that enjoys cross party support, including from Scottish Ministers.”