A new Scottish Government scheme to support small-scale food producers has been welcomed by Green MSP Ariane Burgess, while a new report highlights the benefits this could bring.
£180,000 has been allocated to the Small Producers Pilot Fund, which will be put towards a new service to deliver training courses for small producers; two small-scale abattoir projects; and other initiatives to help establish and strengthen local supply chains and cut food miles.
Meanwhile a new report by the Land Workers Alliance highlights how supporting small-scale producers can contribute significantly to rural regeneration, local economies and community resilience.
Highlands and Islands MSP Ariane Burgess said:
“Many people want to buy locally produced food, which is often the most sustainable option, but it can be surprisingly difficult to access in parts of the Highlands and Islands.
“The Small Producers Pilot Fund will increase the availability of local food while supporting rural jobs in small-scale farming, crofting, market gardening and local supply chains.
“Small-scale producers are already leading the way on regenerative agriculture and agroecology.
“Market gardens in particular are a very sustainable form of farming, producing tremendous quantity of food on very little land and with little climate impact, as I highlighted in a Scottish Parliament motion in 2021.
“This fund will help the sector grow, bringing the benefits of local fruit, veg and meat to more people as Scotland becomes a Good Food Nation.
“The Scottish Government should consider building on this by providing much-needed capital grants for small farmers and crofters to get started with essential equipment, so more people can make a living on the land.”