26 August 2015
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made her first visit to a farm since becoming First Minister when she went to see the Dykes family in West Linton.
South Slipperfield farm might be familiar to some as it was the location for last year’s edition of the BBC’s Lambing Live programme, which was broadcast live from the farm for five nights and to more than 2 million people every night.
The First Minister and Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead, along with NFUS President Allan Bowie, met with Hamish Dykes who talked to them about his farm and his business.
— NFU Scotland (@NFUStweets) August 26, 2015
Hamish one of a number of farmers who took part in a roundtable discussion with the First Minister and Mr Lochhead to raise concerns and issues being experienced across the industry. Ms Sturgeon heard from representatives from the sheep, dairy, beef and arable sectors.
The Scottish Government’s commitment to the industry was reiterated and one of the main points to come out of the meeting was the issue of sourcing Scottish food and making sure more of it is available to consumers.
— Yester Farm Dairies (@yesterdairies) August 26, 2015
The First Minister announced that a study will take place to trace the origin of dairy products on shelves in Scotland’s supermarkets to improve transparency and help to identify opportunities to increase sales of Scottish products.
Carried out by Scotland Food & Drink, it will establish where retailers are sourcing products such as butter and cheese and will be used as a basis for working together to achieve a step change, bring more Scottish products to market and improve access for shoppers to Scottish dairy products.
The First Minister said:
“Scotland has world class products and world class producers, and we want to see a situation where they are appearing in cafes, canteens and supermarkets throughout Scotland and also across the globe.
“We know there is a strong appetite from consumers in Scotland to have access to home-grown goods and support our farmers and producers. Supermarkets, retailers and the foodservice sector are an important part of that journey from farm to fork, but we need to establish if we can all do more to drive up sales and accessibility.”