THIS Friday will see the culmination of a dogged pre-Brexit programme of engagement between the National Farmers Union Scotland and the country’s political parties and party members, as the union hosts a fringe event at the Scottish National Party conference in Aberdeen.

It ends a spring and summer which has seen NFUS attend Scottish Labour, Scottish Greens and Scottish LibDem events. The Scottish Conservative conference earlier this year was cancelled due to bad weather but NFUS was due to attend there as well.

Under the theme ‘Food Production is Key to Scotland’s Success’, NFUS will use the SNP fringe event at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on Friday (June 8) to highlight the economic importance of the farming, food and drink sectors, whilst garnering support for securing the best Brexit deal possible for the nation’s farmers and crofters.

The event, to be chaired by union president Andrew McCornick, will be addressed by cabinet secretary for rural economy and connectivity, Fergus Ewing MSP.

At the event, the union’s director of policy Jonnie Hall will also update politicians and delegates on its priorities for Brexit as mapped out in the ‘Steps to CHANGE: A New Agricultural Policy for Scotland’ document launched at the end of March. Political affairs manager Clare Slipper will outline the union’s views on the forthcoming Good Food Nation Bill.

Speaking ahead of the fringe event, Ms Slipper said: “With Brexit now less than 10 months away, we continue to ramp up our political engagement in Holyrood and Westminster.

“Our presence at all party conferences, including the SNP conference last October, has proven to be hugely beneficial in developing relationships not just with parliamentarians from across the country, but also members of the political parties who ultimately are the consumers of the Scottish produce which NFUS members work hard to deliver.

“Scotland must agree a new system of post-Brexit agricultural support and will legislate on a Good Food Nation in the coming months. It is vital that the development of these policies complement each other and work for the good of Scottish food production.

“Having a strong presence at the Scottish party conferences has allowed us to engage with many of Scotland’s key decision-makers on these significant developments and find common ground with the parties on the direction of travel,” said Ms Slipper. “We look forward to building on that at the SNP event on Friday.

“If any NFUS members are also members of SNP, then we invite them to come along to our event and join this important discussion.”

For in-depth news and views on Scottish agriculture, see this Friday’s issue of The Scottish Farmer or visit