Farming vital to boost economy, say 86% of Scots

The survey was commissioned by the Scottish Government.
The survey was commissioned by the Scottish Government.

Almost nine in 10 Scots believe farming is vital to economic growth, according to a new poll.

The research, which was commissioned by the Scottish Government ahead of this week’s Royal Highland Show, reveals public support of Scottish farming is growing.

It found that 83% of Scots believe farming provides an essential public service, and 86% believe the industry is critical to the success of the Scottish economy.

The Scottish Government said the research also indicated “widespread support” for more food being grown and produced locally.

“Farmers produce our food, they are the custodians of our countryside and are at the beating heart of our rural economy,” said Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing. “So it is really pleasing to see the widespread recognition they are receiving.”

He said the public was clear that they wanted to see more produce grown locally, as well as the protection of animal welfare and food standards if the UK leaves Europe.

“The public also want greater emphasis on environmental protection and more jobs, opportunities and support for rural areas,” added Mr Ewing.

“These are all areas we and the farming industry are committed to maintaining as we seek to grow our rural economy.

“So, as we look to celebrate the success of Scottish farming and the wider rural economy at the Royal Highland Show, it is absolutely fantastic to see this level of support for our farmers and crofters.”