South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s Rural Affairs Spokesperson Colin Smyth has vowed that Scottish Labour will do all it can to ensure that the Agriculture Bill coming through the Scottish Parliament has food production at its heart.

The local MSP addressed crowds at a NFUS rally outside the Scottish Parliament last week.

Colin Smyth told the rally: “I’m sometimes asked by constituents why is agriculture so heavily subsidised.

“My answer is always the same: it isn’t. But it is supported to make sure the food on our tables is high quality and is affordable.

“At a time families are facing a cost of living crisis, that has never been more important, and it doesn’t need to conflict with our climate commitments.

“It’s not rocket science to say it’s good for the environment if the food we eat is from Scotland- not the other side of the world.

“I have made a commitment to our farmers – and Scottish Labour has made that commitment too – that we will work with them to fight to ensure the Agriculture Bill that comes before Parliament has food production at its heart.

“We are in the midst of a climate and nature emergency – which does demand change, but our agriculture sector is aware of that.

“We need to deliver our food production, climate change and biodiversity ambitions simultaneously.

“As the Scottish Parliament begins the debate on a Scottish Agriculture Bill, I have vowed to work with farmers to ensure that bill delivers for climate, for nature and for food production.

“Ultimately, any changes must help- not hinder- building a more sustainable, secure, prosperous future for Scottish agriculture.”

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