Orkney's MSP, Liam McArthur, met representatives from NFUS Orkney yesterday (Tuesday) amidst ongoing concerns about the lack of clarity over the future of post-Brexit agricultural policy and support arrangements.
Last month NFU Scotland President, Martin Kennedy, had called on the Scottish Government "to replace rhetoric with delivery of its future agricultural policy" adding it was "time for action as the clock is already ticking. Scottish agriculture needs direction on a future agricultural policy framework".
Following yesterday’s meeting at the NFUS Orkney’s office, Mr McArthur wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands highlighting the "growing frustration" within Orkney's farming community and echoing Mr Kennedy’s call for urgent clarity.
Commenting, Mr McArthur said:
"There is growing frustration within the farming sector locally and nationally at the continued lack of detail about how support schemes will be structured in future. “The Scottish Government has rightly sought to consult as widely as possible, but ultimately decisions need to be made to enable those in the sector, and those looking to enter it, to plan ahead with confidence.
“No-one doubts the complexity of these issues and the need for any future funding to help support food production, cuts in emissions and increased biodiversity. However, meeting those challenges is only made more difficult the longer ministers take to reach decisions.
“For Orkney to be able to play its part, and remain a lynchpin of Scotland’s wider food and drink sector, it is also vital that future arrangements reflect the different circumstances and approaches to agriculture across the country."