NFU Scotland’s top team attended Westminster this week to outline its manifesto and highlight the importance of the agriculture sector to MPs and peers.

Alistair Carmichael MP sponsored a packed event that saw the NFUS presidential team of Martin Kennedy, Andrew Connon, and Alasdair Macnab present the key requirements Scottish agriculture needs to reach its full potential.

The event follows the formal launch of the NFUS manifesto in Edinburgh last week.

The meeting at the UK parliament included case studies of 12 farming and crofting businesses that worked with more than 700 different supply chain companies, spending more than £12.6m with those suppliers.

The organisation calculates that across the sector as a whole, every £1 of government funded direct payments into Scottish farming and crofting generates £6 of agricultural output.

Speaking after the reception, NFUS president Martin Kennedy said: “The next parliamentary term will be pivotal for Scotland’s farmers and crofters.

“Today’s event provided us with an excellent opportunity to put the importance of Scottish agriculture front and centre in the minds of numerous MPs and Lords from each of the main parties in Westminster.

“The sector punches well above its weight when it comes to supporting high-quality food production, meeting environmental challenges, underpinning rural communities, and sustaining multiple businesses and thousands of jobs.”

Mr Kennedy underlined that most policy, legislation and regulation which relates to agriculture is devolved to Holyrood, but fundamental issues such as trade, migration, and internal market issues remain the responsibility of Westminster.

He added: “We need commitments from the UK Government, and we need the full support of all prospective Scottish MPs who should all be championing the interests of Scottish agriculture. Today provided us with the platform to showcase examples of how farming and crofting businesses across Scotland are integral to our economy.

“We were also able to outline the key asks listed in our recently launched General Election manifesto document which we believe will be critical in supporting a sustainable, profitable future for Scottish farming and crofting. Top of the asks list of is the fundamental need to deliver increased, ring-fenced and multi-annual funding.

“We will be pushing hard to see each of our key asks included in all parties manifestos as we approach the inevitable General Election and aim to host a national hustings event in due course."

“I’d like to thank our sponsor, Alistair Carmichael MP, for sponsoring today’s reception and enabling us to profile our world-leading Scottish agriculture sector to all who attended.”

The five key asks in the manifesto are: increased, ring-fenced and multi-annual funding; improved producer margins to increase food security; better access to skilled workers; protect domestic food production in future trade deals and increased fiscal incentives.

Alistair Carmichael MP, Orkney and Shetland, added: “It is a pleasure to support the NFUS with this event in Parliament today."