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24 March 2021
SAOS Manifesto Highlights Key Priorities for Future Sustainable Growth.
SAOS has shared its manifesto - A Farming Future, Working Together - setting out its priorities for the Scottish Food and Farming sector for 2021 and beyond. SAOS believes that there are several market opportunities that Scottish farming can seize, and enormous challenges that must be grappled, but none of these will be managed effectively if the sector doesn’t work better together, swiftly, and as a whole.
SAOS considers that there are four key priority areas for the next Scottish Government to focus on to help sustain the farming and food industry for the future:
• Identify and develop opportunities to add value to agricultural produce and to increase wider market opportunity and access, across the food supply chain
• Promote the development and uptake of all forms of agricultural co-operation and its benefits
• Support the food and farming sector to adapt positively to the climate emergency
• Empower farming through development, ownership, and uptake of its own technology
SAOS, whose work explores and converts opportunities in food and drink supply chains through innovation, technology, and data, highlights the need for parliamentarians to support its ambitions and help businesses at every point in the supply chain, and in every area of Scotland, to work together more effectively for future sustainable growth.
Mark Clark, SAOS Chairman, commented: “Our manifesto sets out the priorities that we believe are key to supporting the future growth of food and farming. We know that co-operation, and working together effectively, in whatever form, are more vital than ever to achieve the opportunities available. Climate change in particular is an area where, as individuals, our impact is limited, but together, with shared knowledge and action, the effects can quickly become beneficial.
“The manifesto highlights our belief that Scottish agriculture must be better supported to reap the benefits of the numerous advances in agri tech and data. We believe that there is an opportunity for Scottish agriculture to work together, such as was done with SAOS on the development of ScotEID, to benefit from developing, using and retaining ownership of its own data.”
SAOS’s Chief Executive, Tim Bailey, elaborated: “Specifically, we see levelling the playing field between ‘the haves and have-nots’ in terms of high-speed broadband, as vital for any type of business in Scotland today. There is money available to roll this out, but the current system isn’t working. We propose that the farming and rural sector be treated as a single community, organised into local areas, with a co-ordinated approach to accessing support for farms and other rural businesses and dwellings.”
“We want the next Scottish Parliament and government to work together with us to support Scotland’s primary producers and those in their supply chains, to realise and maximise the opportunities available to them.” He concluded.
You can read the full manifesto here