Leading North East Cooperative publishes agricultural policy recommendations to Government

Posted: November 4, 2022

New ANM Group discussion document calls for urgency in future policy direction

ANM Group, the leading farming co-operative based at Thainstone, is today publishing a paper calling on policy-makers to urgently implement a new agricultural policy that supports Scottish farmers to tackle the twin climate and biodiversity crises whilst also maintaining a healthy and profitable agriculture sector that supports the Scottish economy.

The Farming and the Future Discussion Paper is being published further to a conference held by the cooperative in July as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations, which heard from a top-bill of Scottish agricultural industry leaders.

Drawing together the event’s main themes of climate change, food self-sufficiency, agricultural policy and the future for Scotland’s suckler herd, the paper makes six headline recommendations to policy-makers on behalf of ANM Group’s 5,000 members and over 25,000 customers:

  • The industry is clear – an effective, re-drawn agricultural policy is urgently needed.
  • The time for talk is over – expertise must be put into action.
  • Maintain the suckler herd – the beef sector is too important to Scotland’s wellbeing, economy and environment to get this wrong.
  • Recognise what agriculture delivers – economic returns, food security, and environmental stewardship.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel – build on progress and invest to improve.
  • Learn from others – in order to make the new system of agricultural support fit-for-purpose.

ANM Group has shared the discussion paper with politicians and officials at the top of government, and has invited parliamentarians from every political party to participate in discussions on the headline recommendations.

Grant Rogerson, Chief Executive of ANM Group said:

“The agricultural industry is currently at a crossroads. The UK is barely 60% self-sufficient in food production, and yet farmers are under pressure to do more to tackle twin climate and biodiversity crises. This situation is being compounded by challenging economics in every agricultural sector in terms of rising input costs and low returns.

“Now more than ever, industry is looking to our policy-makers for direction. That is why ANM Group is publishing the Farming and the Future Discussion Paper, which draws together the views of our members with the expert insights kindly shared by our panel at the recent ANM Beyond 150 Conference.

“I look forward to engaging with ministers, MSPs, MPs, industry stakeholders and our members on the recommendations in this paper. We hope that it can provide constructive viewpoints as we all seek to ensure the future of farming in Scotland is progressive, sustainable and successful.”

Download the document here