At today’s NFU Scotland annual conference in Glasgow, retail expert Ged Futter will encourage the agricultural sector to challenge supermarket and distributor demands for low-cost products.

Ahead of his much anticipated speech, Mr Futter said: “The future is exciting for Scottish farmers and growers, but it starts with one word: ‘no’”.

“Recent events – Brexit, the conflict in Ukraine, the pandemic and high inflation have exposed fundamental weaknesses in the supply chain. And with risk and reward so far out of kilter, more farmers are asking – is it worth producing food? Because the reality is that retailers have become more sophisticated at achieving better prices and most farmers and growers have not kept up”.

Mr Futter outlined two factors that auger well for agriculture's future.

“Firstly,” he said, “it has an abundance of access to something that will be crucial to the industry’s future: water. And it is already a world class exporter, with Scotch whisky sales up 37% to over £6bn. So whatever’s next, Scotland’s farmers need to be part of it”.


Achieving an average of 296p/kg and or £129/head, demand for hoggs showed no sign of slowing down at Newton Stewart yesterday and topped at £175 for an outstanding Texel from Claycrop, with Beltexes from Broughton Mains peaking at 330p/kg.

Blackies sold to £157/head for Drannandow Farms or to 311p/kg for Little Larg, while cast ewes sold to £122 for Suffolk crosses from Claycrop. Tups sold to £111 for Lleyns from Cutcloy, with Knockcoyd leading the Blackies at £85 and Barnean Farming Company topping the Mules at £96.

Lighter hoggs at Dumfries yesterday averaged 307p/kg and sold to 338p/kg for Ruthwell or to £119 for a Texel from Hayfield, while heavier types averaged 315p/kg and sold to 350p/kg for Shangan or to £161 for a Texel cross from South Mains. Meanwhile, cast ewes sold to £156 for a Suffolk from Midtown.

Store cattle at Carlisle yesterday met with demand, with bullocks and heifers averaging £1,480/head and £1,350/head respectively, and selling to £2,180 for a Charolais cross bullock from Lairdhaugh. And calves peaked at £630 twice, firstly for a pair of British Blue bulls from Thackwood Farms Ltd, and secondly for a British Blue bull for Wadsworth Farming Ltd.

Lambs at Dingwall on Tuesday averaged £91/head and sold to £146 for a Bluefaced Leicester from DB Farms, while breeding ewes sold to £144/head for a pen of Texel crosses from Auckhorn and feeding sheep sold to £182/head for a pair of Texel tups from Ardmore. Old season lambs averaged 298p/kg and sold to 327p/kg for a Beltex cross from Burnbank or to £160 for a Texel cross from Blackford.

All types of cattle met with excellent demand at Lockerbie on Tuesday with heifers selling to £2,050 for Hunthills and bullocks peaking at 399p/kg for Laverockhall.