THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW Highlighting best practice
The lack of pickers could lead to these daffodils being wasted
Thankfully, a partnership between pig producers and Tulip Ltd has recently seen a local processing facility established which will handle 7,500 pigs a week, but this is still a notable issue for the industry at a local level. differing interpretation of EU rules in Scotland and England. Historically, the area of peas and beans grown by a farmer counted towards their environmental commitments. In 2016, however, this changed in Scotland alone, making them a far less attractive crop for farmers. Consequently, my brothers and I began paying far more to rent land than our competitors in the south. Such differences in regulation between areas must be minimised if we are to remain competitive. Our profitability has also been threatened thanks to the wildly
before, with Scotland’s Rural College now operating as the only provider. This has come as a result of college teaching becoming centralised, which makes vocational education for fields such as agriculture far less accessible. I employ over 40 full-time staff with many more on a casual and seasonal basis. Sourcing staff has become more difficult over the years, and there has been a demonstrable fall in the number of local people, resulting in increased demand for migrant labour. With Brexit on the horizon, we are finding it more difficult than ever to expand the workforce as we need to. This is a huge threat to the labour- intensive fruit and vegetable sector, but also to businesses like mine which employ skilled migrant labour in other roles. To combat the recruitment issues currently plaguing the agriculture industry, I try to recruit young people and train them in-house wherever possible, in spite of the high cost of doing so. For the good of my farm, ECV and the Scottish agriculture industry more widely, I sincerely hope that my efforts are not in vain, and that others begin following suit.
The longstanding tradition of agricultural research, innovation and teaching that Scotland is renowned
for is sadly being lost
A lack of educated agricultural labour
Perhaps the greatest asset of the agriculture industry is its people. The longstanding tradition of agricultural research, innovation and teaching that Scotland is renowned for is sadly being lost year by year. Agricultural education at university level in the country is less available than ever