Daily Telegraph’s attack on land reform plans “simply preposterous”

News Release

Scottish Tenant Farmers Association

 19th May 2015


Daily Telegraph’s attack on land reform plans “simply preposterous”


The Scottish Tenant Farmers Association has branded today’s claims in the Daily Telegraph that the SNP’s land and tenancy reform plans put at risk Scotland’s family farms and food production as simply preposterous.

Commenting on the article by the Telegraph’s Scottish correspondent, Simon Johnson, STFA Chairman Christopher Nicholson said; “The tone of this article shows an unhealthy bias and a lack of understanding of land and tenancy reform in Scotland.  Today’s publication is nothing more than political scaremongering, obviously timed to coincide with Land Reform Minister, Aileen Mcleod’s address to the Scottish Lands and Estates’ annual conference in Edinburgh.

“Family farms are the back bone of Scottish agriculture and have been core to the rationale for reform.  The current land and tenancy reform proposals will only serve to strengthen family farming businesses.  The review of tenancy legislation over the last 18 months has been thorough and evidence based, resulting in much needed recommendations which should form part of the Land Reform Bill.  Key to the tenancy review has been the need to increase tenant’s ability to invest in their holdings and ensure that tenancy legislation is reformed to enable tenants to remain competitive in an industry with ever increasing fixed capital requirements.

“Mr Johnson’s assertion that the Scottish Government’s land reform proposals will put Scotland’s food production at risk has no basis in fact and relies on RICS’ views which run counter to progressive thinking on land and tenancy reform in Scotland and are not shared by many of their members, especially those who represent tenant farmers.  The Daily Telegraph may describe RICS as impartial, but anyone who took the time to look through the RICS submission and the RACCE report of their evidence session with RICS would come to a different conclusion.

“Scotland’s land and tenancy reform is about getting the best out of the Scotland’s land and the people who occupy it.  Land and tenancy reform is long overdue, and Scotland now has an opportunity to modernise large parts of our rural landscape which are locked in a feudal time warp no longer fit for purposes of modern agriculture and the wider rural community.”

To view Telegraph Article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/SNP/11614062/SNP-land-reforms-forget-about-food-production.html