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MSP applauds food sector in parliamentary motion

By Alan Beresford

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FOOD producers, farmers and fishers have been applauded in a motion lodged with the Scottish Parliament.

MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Karen Adam.
MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Karen Adam.

MSP Karen Adam, whose Banffshire and Buchan Coast constituency is often known as Scotland’s larder, has lodged the motion as Food and Drink Fortnight draws to a close.

Ms Adam stressed that the food industry has not had its challenges to seek over the last few years but has shown tenacity and ingenuity while facing multiple challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic and a "poorly planned, damaging" Brexit, that has seen food producers hit by staffing problems, increased red tape and the threat of damaging trade deals.

She has also draws attention to the need for and the availability of robust funding from the Scottish Government to help food producers at this time, such as the Marine Fund Scotland. This fund gives substantial funding to businesses in the seafood sector to combat labour shortages through training and Improving sustainability and productivity with funding energy-efficient equipment.

Locally, Downies of Whitehills was awarded a significant grant by the Scottish Government scheme.

In her motion to parliament, the newly elected MSP thanks all involved in the food production industry for their continued efforts to bring world-class Scottish food products to our tables and wishes continued success and support in the future.

Ms Adam said: “I’m really delighted to lodge this motion recognising the north-east’s producers in the Scottish Parliament.

"As the MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, this is a small token of appreciation and my way of saying thank you. It’s important we express gratitude for achievements when we see it and I will keep making sure that the contribution of our industries here on the coast is highlighted and recognised at a national level.

“The quality of Scotland’s food and drink is renowned all over the world and that reputation has been well earned due the hard work and high standards we have here and it is why Scottish goods command a premium internationally.

“Banffshire and Buchan Coast is often referred to as ‘Scotland’s larder’ and that is because of the invaluable contribution by everyone across our food production, agriculture and fishing industries. Having spoken with dozens of industry leaders over the summer, I know just how hard our food producers, fishing industry and agriculture sectors have been hit by the double whammy of Covid and EU exit, there have been real challenges, particularly in terms of sourcing labour.”

Her motion reads: "That the Parliament marks the end of Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight 2021 by applauding the indefatigable spirit of the food producers, farmers and fishers of the North East Scotland region; commends their tenacity while facing multiple challenges, including what it sees as those imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic and as a result of Brexit; recognises what it sees as the necessity of robust financial support programmes, such as the Marine Fund Scotland, in responding to labour and skills shortages and maximising sustainability through the purchase of energy-efficient equipment; thanks everyone for their continued efforts to bring world-class Scottish seafood to people's tables, and wishes them every success in the future."

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