As we recover from the huge shock delivered to our economy by the Coronavirus it is essential that we support our vital farming and fishing industries that have kept our shops and supermarket shelves full during the recent trying times.
Around 67,000 people are directly employed in agriculture in Scotland – this represents around 8% of the rural workforce and means that agriculture is the third largest employer in rural Scotland after the service and public sectors. It is estimated that a further 360,000 jobs (1 in 10 of all Scottish jobs) are dependent on agriculture.
Our farmers, crofters and growers produce an output worth around £2.9 billion a year, and are responsible for much of Scotland’s £5 billion food and drink exports.
Meanwhile Scotland’s fishing fleet and sea fisheries are also significant contributors to our food and drink sector, as well as our rural and coastal economies, in particular playing an important part in many remote and potentially fragile communities.
For all these reasons and many more it remains essential that we continue to support our hard working farmers and fishermen by purchasing locally sourced goods from local proprietors wherever possible.
Cllr Alastair Redman