As reiterated in the recently released Climate Change Strategy, two new farmer-led committees are being set up to produce recommendations and suggestions for the Scottish Government on how to reduce emissions and combat climate change.
They will concentrate on the milk and high-value dairy industries. Jackie McCreery, director of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland and the Royal Highland Educational Trust, will preside over the Dairy Group, while Martin Kennedy, vice president of NFU Scotland, and Joyce Campbell, chair of the Women in Agriculture Taskforce, will co-chair the Hill, Upland and Crofting Group (HUCG).
These groups bring the number of climate groups led by farmers to five. They are accompanied by the industry-led group for the swine sector, the arable sector group, which met for the first time in December, and the suckler cow environment group, which has already issued guidelines, with a separate program committee set up to advance them. Fergus Ewing, Minister of Rural Economy, said, “I am pleased to announce the chairs of the new Dairy Group and HUCG. The groups will help reduce emissions and tackle climate change, which has long been a priority for Scotland, demonstrated by our world-leading ambition.”
He noted that Mr. Kennedy is “a tenant farmer himself,” while Ms. Campbell is a “knowledgeable farmer” and Ms. McCreery is a dairy and arable farm partner.
Mr. Ewing said, “I look forward to working closely with the groups’ new chairs. Martin Kennedy, a tenant farmer himself, brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the role and will chair the HUCG alongside Joyce Campbell, a knowledgeable farmer with extensive experience in educating others. Jackie McCreery, a partner in a dairy and arable farm, will chair the dairy group. Her rural background and extensive knowledge will be of great benefit. All three chairs will enjoy the opportunity to work together to find practical solutions to achieve our goals. I look forward to seeing their results in the near future.”
Mr. Kennedy said, “Scottish farmers and crofters have shown that they are willing to innovate and adapt their companies to promote green recovery and tackle climate change, while improving efficiency without compromising product quality. The union is very encouraged that many Scottish agriculture and food and beverage industry representatives are already working in Scottish-established groups.”
As always, NFU Scotland is keen to work with the Government of Scotland to ensure that policy choices will lead to realistic solutions in this area. Such participation in the collaboration would have a positive effect on the next steps towards achieving the common aim of reaching the goals of Scotland for climate change.