AIC Scotland spells out need for certainty to Cabinet Minister Mike Russell
15 May 2019
The Agricultural Industries Confederation Scotland outlined the important contribution to the rural economy made by agrisupply businesses to Cabinet Secretary Mike Russell when they recently met at Harbro premises at Coalburn, South Lanarkshire.
Stephen Kenyon, who chairs AIC Scotland presented key facts on the agrisupply industry. He particularly highlighted AIC’s key role within the rural community in supplying farms with key inputs as well as marketing grains, oilseeds and pulses.
Brexit was much discussed and AIC spelled out how damaging the current uncertainty is.
“Our members need certainty if they are plan ahead and make investment decisions,” said Paul Rooke, AIC’s Head of Policy. He also referred to the costs that had been incurred by stockpiling inputs in the face of a threatened ‘no deal’ in late March.
AIC Scotland Policy Manager Ian Muirhead told the Cabinet Secretary how uncertainty on future tariff regimes had led to a loss of forward trade, especially within the cereals sector.
Looking forward Mr Kenyon raised the issue of uncertainty on Phase 2. “Stakeholders, such as AIC, are willing to help. We have expertise which is available to governments in Holyrood and Westminster. Developing effective communications between governments and industry is absolutely vital for everyone’s sake.
While sympathetic to industry’s needs, the meeting was left in no doubt that removing much of the uncertainty is unlikely to be resolved in the near future.
Photo: (l-r): Paul Rooke, Head of Policy – External, AIC; Ian Muirhead, Policy Manager, AIC Scotland; Mike Russell, Cabinet Minister; Stephen Kenyon, Chairman, AIC Scotland
Ian Muirhead, AIC Scotland