SIR, – Congratulations must go to the author of the letter in last week's issue for highlighting so many accurate facts about QMS. It is little surprise that so many directors have recently resigned their position from the QMS board.

The same issues could be directed towards the rest of the assurance scheme providers. Perhaps they have outlived their usefulness, with committees appearing to be completely out of touch with farmers – the very people they are supposed to represent?

They continue to increase and embellish bureaucracy, with the only recognized achievement being in getting up farmers' backs. It would seem that they are unaccountable and sadly lacking in any vision and useful decision making.

To make matters worse, it is us, the farmers who are paying their salaries and expenses. Many of our great farming papers have had several excellent letters complaining about the ever increasing and pointless bureaucracy being administered by these organisations and every time, we read how this contributes to the increased stress and mental health problems which affect our farmers.

Our fantastic RSABI are only too aware of this. It is high time that NFUS was more visibly taking a stronger stance to get these assurance organisations put back into line and make them start serving their customers and us farmers!

Alternatively, could we follow AHDB potato producers and vote to remove them? What purpose do they serve, save cause us all unnecessary cost and stress?

I would encourage both male and female farmers and their families to take a moment to write to the press and acknowledge the stresses and pressures which are being put upon our farming businesses by some of these organisations.

Our farming operations are frequently forced to hire in consultants to help us complete the ridiculous paperwork we are faced with. Meanwhile, across the globe, other farmers are able to produce foodstuffs at lower welfare standards, with little red tape and line them up in retailers' stores, at competitive prices for our unsuspecting consumers to purchase.

I am not in favour of reduced standards and would not encourage this in Scotland, nor the UK. However, I am all for a level playing field, but this is not where we find ourselves and these assurance organisations appear to me to be of no benefit in helping us achieve this.

I would be keen to engage with like-minded farmers who share my desire to take these organisations to task. It is high time we farmers tried to collaborate better, control our futures and help both our own financial and mental well being. Let’s change the current dynamics.

Patrick Sleigh

West Fingask, Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire.