United Front: Scottish Agriculture Sector Rallies to Shape Future Policy


Forming FAST: A Collective Voice for Scotland’s Agriculture

Key players in Scotland’s agriculture, food production, and land management sectors have joined forces to establish the Food and Agriculture Stakeholder Taskforce (FAST), a unified body aimed at influencing Scotland’s upcoming agriculture policy. This collaboration comes as the sector seeks to have a stronger say in the legislative process.

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Challenging the Status Quo

FAST emerged from industry concerns over the perceived vagueness of Scotland’s agricultural policy and the Scottish Government’s limited engagement with the sector. By formalizing as a Limited Company, FAST aims to facilitate a more cohesive and effective dialogue with policymakers.

Engagement and Expertise

Since its inception in September 2022, FAST has been proactive, holding regular meetings and extending invitations to ministers and officials to discuss critical issues. The taskforce’s goal is to unite the sector’s voice on shared objectives and leverage its collective expertise to shape a more favorable agricultural policy framework.

Leading by Example

Neil Wilson of the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland (IAAS) emphasizes the importance of FAST’s role in providing leadership and fostering collaboration. The taskforce seeks to ensure that the industry’s concerns and suggestions are clearly articulated to the government, enhancing the policy-making process.

Informing the Debate

FAST is actively engaging with Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), offering insights and information ahead of crucial amendments to the Agriculture and Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill. The taskforce is committed to advocating for policies that support profitable and sustainable agricultural supply chains and primary food retail in Scotland.

Representing Rural Scotland

With 16 founding members, FAST represents a diverse array of organizations from Scotland’s primary food production sector. This broad coalition reflects the varied interests and regions of rural Scotland, ensuring a comprehensive representation in the policy-making process.

Advancing Agriculture in the Political Arena

FAST is set to host a parliamentary reception on May 22, sponsored by MSP Elena Witham, to further promote the interests of Scottish agriculture within the political sphere. This event marks a significant step in the taskforce’s efforts to champion the sector’s needs and aspirations.

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