Environment Secretary Michael Gove met Scottish farming and fishing leaders today to discuss the future of their industries outside the EU.
Representatives from across the Scottish farming and fish processing sectors attended the meetings with the Secretary of State at Aberdeen’s James Hutton Institute, a hub for environmental and farming innovation.
The meetings focused on the specific opportunities and challenges facing Scottish farmers and fishing businesses as we prepare to leave the EU.
Farming groups including NFU Scotland, the Scottish Food and Drink Federation and the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association attended to share their ambitions and expectations for future farming policy.
And in a further meeting, representatives from the Scottish Seafood Association, Associated Seafoods and a wealth of processing companies set out their desires for future trade and the needs of the Scottish supply chain.
The meetings also focused on how Scotland’s entrepreneurial farmers and fishermen can make the best use of innovation and new technology to boost productivity.
Speaking after the meetings, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:
Aberdeen is a city extremely close to my heart and one with proud traditions in both farming and fishing. Both industries are part of the fabric of daily life for so many people in the North East, but they are also vitally important for the local and national economies, together contributing over £10 billion. I’m determined to see them go from strength to strength outside the EU.
Today’s discussions were very productive and helpful as we take forward this once in a lifetime opportunity to design a new approach that can deliver a brighter future for Scottish farmers and fishermen.
There are undoubtedly challenges ahead, but if we work together I believe there can be great rewards. I’m committed to working with the Scottish farming and fishing industries to make sure we secure a smooth transition and grasp the opportunities that leaving the EU presents.
The roundtables held today are part of a series of ongoing engagements across all parts of the UK ahead of EU exit.