Home / News / News Listing / RHASS Blog: Alan Laidlaw: Supporting farmers for better food on your plate

RHASS Blog: Alan Laidlaw: Supporting farmers for better food on your plate

Farming is a key industry in Scotland, which is apparent as you drive around the country. Our landscape has been farmed for generations to produce some incredible food for our families. But Brexit has brought about uncertainty, especially for some farms, and if we want to continue having quality food produced in Scotland, we must address how this is delivered.


Farming is a key industry in Scotland, which is apparent as you drive around the country. Our landscape has been farmed for generations to produce some incredible food for our families. But Brexit has brought about uncertainty, especially for some farms, and if we want to continue having quality food produced in Scotland, we must address how this is delivered.

The old saying of ‘get what you pay for’ is timeless and has resurfaced when debating farm support. A recent poll, carried out for the Scottish Environment Link (ScotLink) Coalition, showed a huge majority of the public back farm support but, as many farmers would agree, it needs to form a new agreement between consumer and farmer. We are all more aware of the environmental impact of our shop than ever before, and I see this as being key to future support.

Many consumers, like businesses, want to see a return on their investment. So, although the public is in favour of farm support, they want to know what they get back. This may be local, quality, welfare assurances, environmental schemes or sustainability– it’s important they understand what they get and what farmers are doing. We have strict codes of conducts, full traceability, high welfare standards, and a professional and dedicated workforce, with the best interests of the Scottish countryside at their heart. We have some of the best track records for animal protection safety and welfare in the world, and I think we should be extremely proud of that.

One of the remits of RHASS is to promote Scottish agriculture, and we work with many organisations to ensure we help society understand farming and rural life in Scotland and, importantly, its relevance to their lives. It’s an important message and one that affects everyone in Scotland, regardless of if you are involved in farming – you are involved because you are a consumer, a resident and a beneficiary of what Scottish agriculture does for the country.

One way in which we support and encourage the best of Scottish agriculture is through RHET (Royal Highland Education Trust) who do an incredible job at working with schools to teach the next generation about how their food is produced.

We also communicate with the wider public through what has now become Scotland’s largest outdoor event, The Royal Highland Show. The Show plays an important role in bringing city and countryside together and allowing both to be better informed and to engage in discussion.

We must continue to work with other organisations to promote agriculture. Some may not be obvious at first– Essential Edinburgh, Edinburgh Trams our long-standing relationship with the Royal Bank of Scotland - but all help us reach new audiences and engage with consumers.

If you are inspired to learn more about your food, the people that care for it and the ways in which it is produced, then why not come along to the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston on the 21-24 June – meet producers, talk to the farmers, taste the products – you will not be disappointed. You can find out more at www.royalhighlandshow.org.

RHASS Membership RHS Tickets RHASS Membership: RHS Tickets Update

Why sign up for our Newsletter?

  • Important RHASS communications
  • Get all the latest news & upcoming events
  • Updates from our community
Newsletter Sign Up