"The climate emergency is going to dominate all we do and crofters have an important part to play, having a very sound record in good management of our environment."

That's the view of the Scottish Crofting Federation after it held its first meeting of the new year on Friday (January 17) at which the campaign priorities for 2020 were set.

“As the only organisation dedicated to campaigning for crofters and fighting for the future of crofting,” said SCF’s chair Yvonne White, “this year is going to be busy with many fronts to cover on behalf of crofters.

"Leaving Europe on January 31 will bring many challenges with regards to trade of meat and croft produce, and agricultural support – especially the support of the less favoured areas which is due to be reviewed this year. It is absolutely imperative that crofters join together under one banner to protect our rights.” Ms White added.

"We have had some significant wins in the past year, not least our campaign that got the convergence funding more fairly distributed. The benefit to crofters of this increased share of the rebate will pay for their subscription of SCF many times over. And there is the distribution of the second tranche yet to fight for.”

Ms White went on to say, “The climate emergency is going to dominate all we do and crofters have an important part to play, having a very sound record in good management of our environment. Most high nature value areas in Scotland are under crofting tenure, for example machair, known for its incredible biodiversity, and peatlands, which are the best ecosystem for sequestering carbon. And of course crofting produce is the finest quality and eco-friendly.”

“The National Development Plan for Crofting will be finalised in the next year and there is much at stake in this for crofters. Also, whilst crofting law reform has been put on hold for now, it is important that we keep a watching brief.”

“As always, many things that effect crofting are discussed in ‘stakeholder’ meetings and are therefore open to competition from other sector representatives,” concluded Ms White. “It is essential that crofting is represented by the organisation set up by crofters, run by crofters, for crofters.”