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Farmers plan day of action


By David Porter


A national day of action is planned by the four UK farmers unions to counteract the "misinformation and mistruths" on farming and food production by those who want to do the industry down.

The planned action was revealed by NFU Scotland chief executive, Scott Walker, at the union’s north-east region annual meeting in Inverurie in response to a plea from former area president, Tom Johnston, Huntly, who demanded more action from the union in response to recent critical television programmes.

“We need to get the true facts and figures out to the public about what we as farmers do,” said Mr Johnston.

“We need to get all the information together and that’s the union’s job.

"Give us the information and we’ll support you and be your foot soldiers to get the information out to the public.”

Mr Walker assured the meeting that the matter was in hand and plans were well advanced for a major demonstration throughout the UK.

“This will be a peaceful demonstration to get the right information to members of the public,” said Mr Walker.

“We have dissuaded the NFU in England from mounting a major demonstration driving tractors into towns and cities which we believe would cause disruption and alienate the public.

"The aim must be to get the public on side by assuring them that farmers are producing safe, wholesome food and looking after the countryside.”

He said the union’s communications director, Bob Carruth, had been charged to put together an information pack for distribution to the public giving all the facts in a simple, easily understood form.

The move will be backed up with increased pressure on politicians and the media to counteract the biased reporting the industry is being subjected to, particularly in television specials with their own agendas.

National vice-president, Charlie Adam, Alford, appealed to farmers to ignore the vegan minority who were making so much noise and avoid giving them the oxygen of publicity.

“Give people the true facts about what we do and the public will make up their own minds,” he said.

Former area president, Roddy Catto, Whitecairns, stressed the importance of putting over a positive message rather than being seen as “grumpy” farmers.

Oldmeldrum farmer, Patrick Sleigh, said councils needed to: "clamp down on teachers who advocating veganism to their pupils."

Warm tribute was paid to David Winton, Aboyne, who has stood down as regional chairman after three years.

NFU Scotland's Lorna Paterson with the new north-east committee Hamish Garland, Andrew Connon and Andrew Simpson.
NFU Scotland's Lorna Paterson with the new north-east committee Hamish Garland, Andrew Connon and Andrew Simpson.

The new chairman is Andrew Connon, Ellon, with Alan Simpson, Insch, and Hamish Garland, Ellon, as joint vice-chairmen.



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