Sir, – The Scottish Farmer reports a reduction in Scottish produce on supermarket shelves, particularly beef and lamb. Scotch beef was 75% of its 2019 levels in June 2020, Scotch lamb was 63%.
Trade agreements are being struck to import lower-cost food into the UK, which destabilises food production in Scotland. Brazil, a huge producer of beef, is on the potential import list.
Large swathes of Amazon Rainforest are being destroyed while President Jair Bolsonaro turns a blind eye to global warming. These imports will also increase food miles.
Just recently Boris Johnson, referred to November’s COP26 Conference as critical in the fight to reduce global warming.
While vegetarians and vegans may not care as much about Scottish meat production, it should be remembered most farms are mixed and include cereal and vegetable production. The loss of one revenue stream affects the viability of the other.
The message is clear; buy locally produced food as often as you can. If you don’t use it you will lose it.
Don’t buy the beef from Brazil
Sir, – While our focus, quite rightly, has been on Covid and the long-hoped-for relaxation of lockdown, the Westminster Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Brazil.
President Bolsonaro, besides being one of the main Covid-deniers, is allowing the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest.
To sign a Memorandum of Understanding with such a man and his government flies in the face of the commitment the UK Government has given not just to farmers, but to the general public, that it will not allow substandard foods to enter this country.
Brazilian beef is produced using growth-promoting and product-boosting hormones.
Much of the rainforests being cut down are being turned into arable land to produce forage for these beef cattle.
However, the MoU is signed and therefore allows trade between UK and Brazil. All we can do is ask consumers to be very careful to check the “country of origin” on their food labels.
When I say check carefully, read the small print! There are loopholes which allow “produced in….” and “packed…in” as well as “product of …”.
Looking at the Food Standards Agency might help, but the rules are complicated.
You are safest to look for the Scottish Saltire or the Red Tractor/Union Jack on your purchases.
Newton of Arbirlot,
The £600k is the SNP’s money
Sir, – Derek Farmer (Letters, February 23) suggests the £600,000 fighting fund set aside by the SNP for a new independence campaign is tax-payers’ money that would be better spent on PPE or local government.
This money is, in fact, SNP members’ money taken from party subscriptions.
However, he may be getting confused by actual tax-payers’ money funding Boris Johnson’s Union Unit, which sees leaders disappear like sna’ off a dyke and millions being budgeted on unaccountable staff – and a knowledge of Scotland not “essential” to work in it.
331 Clepington Road,
UK Government disregards the laws
Sir, – It is of the utmost concern that the UK Government has scant regard for the rule of law.
This is demonstrated by their earlier attempt to prorogue Parliament, by their threat to break international law during the Brexit negotiation and now we have Matt Hancock unapologetic for acting unlawfully, awarding contracts for PPE to people who have no expertise in this area, but have connections to the Tory Party.
It seems the UK cannot be trusted to abide by any legal obligations. This is worrying and a threat to our democracy. It is disappointing the media do not hold them to account.
4 Old Brechin Road,