NFU Scotland (NFUS) has signed up as a partner in an initiative to promote and encourage equality, diversity and inclusion in the UK farming industry.
The union is backing Agrespect – a body set up by farmers which supports LGBTQ+ people living and working in rural communities.
It has signed the Agrespect pledge which reads: “We stand against prejudice and support rural LGBTQ+ diversity, inclusion and enablement.”
NFUS president Andrew McCornick said the union’s membership of the Agrespect initiative was part of its continuing work to promote and support diversity in its membership and in the wider Scottish countryside.
This includes attendance at local Pride events in the past two years.
“Many LGBTQ+ people in the farming and crofting community still choose not to disclose their sexuality because of discrimination and bias,” said Mr McCornick.
“We all have a moral responsibility to advocate and support our friends and colleagues regardless of their gender or their sexual orientation.”
He said NFUS wanted to help LGBTQ+ people, and their friends and families, to understand that being different is something to be proud of, adding: “I want NFUS to be a welcoming, tolerant and vibrant place for all members, staff and affiliates and NFUS will not accept discrimination of any kind.
“Being open about your sexuality shouldn’t be a barrier to leading a happy life and a ful- filling career in the countryside and land-based industries.”