Summer Shows give tenants a chance to air their views

Summer Shows give tenants a chance to air their views

 The Agricultural Shows taking place around the country over the next week or two provide a timely opportunity for tenants to discuss the recent developments relating to the tenanted sector.  With the on-going work of Land Reform at Holyrood and Westminster, and the announcement by the Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead that there will be a review of Agricultural Holdings legislation in 2014, we now have a real opportunity to tackle the problems faced by Scotland’s tenant farmers.

This year, as usual, STFA will have a stand at the Turriff Show.  As well as being the rural heartland the SNP, Scotland’s governing party, the North East has a large population of tenant farmers whose views are important to the tenancy debate.  The show will provide an opportunity for tenants to discuss tenancy issues and speak to political representatives.

STFA is also having its first outing to the Dumfries show on Saturday; The South West has also large areas of tenanted land and is home to some of Scotland’s biggest estates

Speaking in advance of the Shows Chairman Christopher Nicholson said; “We are pleased that, following the Cabinet Secretary’s recent announcement, an open debate is developing around Land Reform and Agricultural Holdings legislation including the absolute right to buy for tenants.  Topics up for discussion include the test for setting farm rents, compensation to outgoing tenants for their improvements, and provisions for assignation and succession of farm tenancies.”

“Family farms are the backbone of many remote rural communities, and all the arguments should be explored in full to ensure long term sustainable family farming in the tenanted areas for future generations.”

“Land Reform and changes to Agricultural Holdings legislation are part of the ongoing political process and it is vital that tenants’ views are heard.  Of the 484 recently published submissions to the LRRG, over half were from estates, landowners and their professional representatives, all happy with the current status quo.  This has been interpreted by some as demonstrating little appetite for change amongst tenants, but the views heard by STFA at this summer’s shows suggest a different picture.”