Brexit director to speak at conference

Generic Farming on West Fortune Farm, East Lothian.'Farm workers plough the fields and harvest the vegetables'Pic Neil Hanna'tractors'harvest'ploughing
Generic Farming on West Fortune Farm, East Lothian.'Farm workers plough the fields and harvest the vegetables'Pic Neil Hanna'tractors'harvest'ploughing

An agricultural Brexit director and farm-to-bottle businessman is set to address a farming conference being held in Carnoustie.

David Barnes, deputy director in the Scottish Government’s team working on the agricultural and environmental aspects of Brexit, will address the Farming Scotland Conference when the prestigious annual event takes place in Carnoustie, next week.

The event, which is now in its 14th year, is set to take the theme ‘A world of opportunities’.

Conference Chairman, Graeme Davidson from EQ Accountants, said: “There are, undoubtedly, huge challenges ahead for Scotland’s farmers.

“We hope that, whilst such challenges are sure to be highlighted by our line-up of speakers, the overall focus will be on what positive opportunities could be out there on the world stage.

“I am delighted that we will have David Barnes to address our delegates. Amongst other things, David Barnes has huge experience in CAP negotiations, representing Scotland at an EU level and heading up the 600 strong SGRPID staff implementing and delivering agricultural policy in Scotland.

“He is now a key figure in the team looking at how Brexit may influence Scottish Agriculture and what post Brexit policy could look like.”

David Barnes will be joined on the conference platform by Rob Clayton, Strategy Director of AHDB Potatoes, and two farmer speakers, Ian Pigott and Iain Stirling, each of whom has a highly-diversified farming business.

The chairman added: “Exploration of diversification opportunities, will for many farming businesses, be high up on the to-do list. It is therefore great that we have two experts in this field taking to the conference platform.

“I’m sure that Iain Stirling, in particular, will be of interest to farmers from the Angus and wider Tayside area, given his family’s success in establishing their Arbikie farm-to-bottle premium distillery and spirits business.”

The Farming Scotland Conference is hosted and sponsored by Bell Ingram, EQ Accountants, The Royal Bank of Scotland and Thorntons Solicitors.

The conference will take place at The Carnoustie Golf Hotel on, Thursday, 2 February, tickets can be booked from the dedicated website www.farmingscotlandconference.co.uk