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Letter to Press & Journal - Scottish Land & Estates aim to address issues

Letter as Published in Press & Journal on 14 June 2014
Dear Sir,
In his P&J column last week, Angus McCall did as everyone would expect him to do – fight the corner for those who wish to see an absolute right to buy for tenant farmers. There can be no questioning Angus’s passion for ARTB and many of the issues he raises about tenant farming in general do need to be addressed.
Unfortunately, Angus’s enthusiasm for debating ARTB does seem to get in the way of the facts.
I was very surprised to see Angus complain about not being given a voice because to me the Scottish farming press have not been slow to giving him a platform. In recent months Scottish Land & Estates has been focusing much more on publicising our initiatives that we hope will address some of the key issues for tenant farmers including compensation at waygo, a robust naming and shaming power for an industry ombudsman, the potential of share farming and, this week, our desire to hold cross industry talk on rent reviews.
I must question the assertion that the silent majority want to see ARTB. What is the evidence for this? NFUS, which represents the majority of tenants, says they are not in favour and the STFA survey Angus refers to shows that the majority in favour was 58% of nearly 600 respondents. 
The arguments around ARTB have been well documented and we wholeheartedly agree that issues which have been raised as possible drivers should be discussed. That is why Scottish Land & Estates thinks it would be in the best interests of all in the industry to get round a table to talk.
Douglas McAdam
Chief Executive
Scottish Land & Estates

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