The devastating impact of the weather is the top talking point again this week, as much of the country gets hammered by floods and rainfall. Further north, the weather is hitting crofters and farmers on Shetland who face another week of feeding cattle that were supposed to have sailed south weeks ago. Many of these livestock keepers will be small crofters who will not have access to sheds full of straw or feed to fall back on. Plus, being over 100 miles north of mainland Scotland, refilling the stocks can only be done when ferries are running. Let's hope for a change of weather soon.

There has been a change in NFU England's attitude to Red Tractor as their initial response to the proposed environmental changes was deemed not robust enough for membership. Their new plan to run two reviews of the body with a specific wider remit questioning the value of these schemes will please many assurance sceptics. While Red Tractor does not cover the significant red meat sectors in Scotland, many north of the border will be watching closely as the debate unfolds.

One area which looks to have little debate is the future of the former Scotbeef businesses at Bridge of Allan and Queenslie in Glasgow. The investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority into the impact of the takeover on market competition is looking increasingly likely to be green-lit. Throughout the investigation, ABP has been awarded concessions to bring their staff onto the former Scotbeef sites to keep the 'business viable'. News that the CMA has dropped the requirement to pause bringing the businesses together makes any halt to the deal very unlikely. The final ruling by 16 November looks a fait accompli.

Maintaining Bridge of Allan as an operating abattoir is good news for farmers as the processing capacity is critical for Scotland. ABP's decision to slaughter lambs at the site could also be helping to underpin the strength of our current prices. However, restricting the number of buyers to only a handful of companies when we have over 10,000 farmers creates an unbalanced marketplace.

The ever-contracting number of buyers of our products makes gaining a fair deal a constant challenge for the sector. But this doesn't mean efforts shouldn't be made. More power to the Aberdeenshire cereal farmers who are seeking to increase transparency and trust in grain contracts. It always appears that when there is an oversupply of cereals, the specifications tighten up, while when grain is short, buyers become more relaxed about quality. Clearly, the impact of supply and demand will never go away, but trust in the process is paramount if we are to drive the farming forward.