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Trust the Tractor campaign in Dumfries and Galloway

The red tractor symbol shows that the product has met certified standards Credit: ITV Border

Farmers from across Dumfries and Galloway have joined forces with NFU Scotland to urge consumers to buy local produce.

The Trust the Tractor campaign aims to educate consumers about where the product has come from, by allowing for full traceability.

"The red tractor symbol is actually there to showcase UK produce both Scottish and UK wide. Very much what you're looking for is hopefully the British flag on the front but specifically the Red Tractor on the back. It's very much about the traceability of the food from farm to packaging."

– Teresa Dougall, Regional manager, NFU Scotland

Farmers campaign in Dumfries

It follows protests over milk prices in Dumfries. Credit: ITV Border

Farmers will be out talking to shoppers in Dumfries today, as part of a campaign to get more people to buy quality-assured British food.

NFU Scotland is taking part in Red Tractor Week to rally support from consumers.

As part of the campaign farmers are going to be at the Tesco store in Dumfries.

It follows on from a protest about milk prices outside another Dumfries supermarket last month.


Price of Scottish lamb 'at seven-year low'

The price of Scottish lamb has dropped. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Archive/PA Images

The National Farmers Union in Scotland says the price of lamb is at a seven-year low.

It's calling for supermarkets to stock more British lamb as well as cheaper imports from New Zealand.

Farmers say they're getting 20 per cent less compared to 12 months ago:

It's been quite tough because we were getting reasonable prices this time last year and you're putting a lot of work in to producing the lambs, so to be sending them off and getting lower prices is a wee bit demoralising."

– Charlotte Hendry, farmer

Scotland to ban growing of genetically modified crops

Genetically modified crops will be banned in Scotland Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Growing genetically modified crops is to be banned in Scotland, the Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has announced.

Mr Lochhead has confirmed that the Scottish Government intends to take advantage of new EU rules allowing countries to opt out of growing EU-authorised GM crops.

The Scottish Government will shortly submit a request that Scotland is excluded from any European consents for the cultivation of GM crops, including the variety of genetically modified maize already approved and six other GM crops that are awaiting authorisation.

The Cabinet Secretary said:

“Scotland is known around the world for our beautiful natural environment - and banning growing genetically modified crops will protect and further enhance our clean, green status. “There is no evidence of significant demand for GM products by Scottish consumers and I am concerned that allowing GM crops to be grown in Scotland would damage our clean and green brand, thereby gambling with the future of our £14 billion food and drink sector. “Scottish food and drink is valued at home and abroad for its natural, high quality which often attracts a premium price, and I have heard directly from food and drink producers in other countries that are ditching GM because of a consumer backlash. “That is why I strongly support the continued application of the precautionary principle in relation to GM crops and intend to take full advantage of the flexibility allowed under these new EU rules to ban GM crops from being grown in Scotland. “The Scottish Government has long-standing concerns about GM crops - concerns that are shared by other European countries and consumers, and which should not be dismissed lightly. “I firmly believe that GM policy in Scotland should be guided by what's best for our economy and our own agricultural sector rather than the priorities of others. I recently kicked off a national discussion on the future of Scottish agriculture, and welcome views from all sides of the GM debate.”

Scott Walker, NFU Scotland Chief Executive commented:

“We are disappointed that the Scottish Government has decided that no GM crops should ever be grown in Scotland. Other countries are embracing biotechnology where appropriate and we should be open to doing the same here in Scotland.
“Decisions should be taken on the individual merits of each variety, based on science and determined by whether the variety will deliver overall benefit. These crops could have a role in shaping sustainable agriculture at some point and at the same time protecting the environment which we all cherish in Scotland.
“What we want is an open debate that then allows decisions to be taken from an informed position reflecting current technology.”


NFU: livestock safety tips

Read the NFU's tips on handling livestock safely. Credit: PA

As part of Farm Safety Awareness Week, NFU Scotland is offering advice on how to stay safe on farms.

People have died on Scottish farms in the past decade
People have died on farms in the Scottish Borders, in the past 3 years

Today, the focus is on handling livestock safely, and the union has released the following tips:

  • The risk is greater if the animals have not been handled frequently
  • Never underestimate the risks, even with good precautions in place
  • You should have proper handling facilities, that are well maintained and in good working order
  • A race and a crush suitable for the animals to be handled
  • Trained and competent staff
  • A selection of breeding animals with the aim to improve herd temperament
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