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Increase in agricultural debt highlights importance of securing a fair deal for farmers

August 16, 2012 1:54 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

The results of the 2012 Survey of Bank Advances to Scottish AgricultureJim HumeJim Hume published today showed a rise in agricultural debt for the third consecutive year. As of May this year the total outstanding balance of advances from banks and mortgage comapnies to Scottish agriculture stood at £1,670 million.

Commenting, Scottish Liberal Democrat Rural Affairs spokesperson Jim Hume MSP said:

"It is all too often forgotten that Scotland's agricultural communities bear a significant brunt of any economic crises. These figures are welcome as they show that the lending market hasn't seized up entirely but this doesn't come without a sting in the tail in that debt is always a burden which needs to be paid back.

"We have seen only recently from the Milk Price row that the agricultural industry doesn't always pay dividends. That is why it is so important that both of Scotland's governments work hand in hand to ensure fair deals for farmers from big supermarkets.

"The Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill going through Westminster must have teeth to deal with big supermarkets that flout the spirit of fairness in the supply chain."

The 2012 Survey of Bank Advances to Scottish Agriculture can be found here www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/08/2192/1