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LOFS Support for Farmers and Crofters in Scotland

Scottish farmers have been producing safe, traceable and nutritious food for generations. Imports post Brexit will potentially mean double standards across the food sector. Farmers understand what this means – but do our customers? Will shoppers continue to make their purchase decisions on price?

On 7th June 2020, hundreds of farmers across Britain will be opening their farm gates for the 15th anniversary of LEAF Open Farm Sunday. The farming industry’s annual open day is a prime opportunity for farmers and crofters from Dumfries to the Shetland Isles to promote our fantastic Scottish provenance story whilst building relationships and trust with consumers.

LEAF Open Farm Sunday has teamed up with Scottish Agritourism Monitor Farm Programme to host a special information presentation during their “Telling your farming story” event on Tuesday 10 March 2020. The presentation, which will be delivered from 3.30pm to 5pm, will be led by Scottish LOFS Coordinator Rebecca Dawes who will be joined by some previous LEAF Open Farm Sunday host farmers to share top tips for planning, activities, health and safety, promotion and taking those first steps.

Rebecca commented: “Hosting an event on LEAF Open Farm Sunday is fully flexible to enable farmers to get what they want from it allowing you to decide if your event is for 10 people or 100, for one-hour or a full day. For farms with a diversification it is a no-brainer: a recent survey of farmers with a diversification who had hosted a LEAF Open Farm Sunday event showed that 96% of them reported a noticeable positive impact on their diversified business.”

NFU Scotland Vice President Martin Kennedy, along with his family, opened their gates at Lurgan Farm in Highland Perthshire last year for the first time and, according to Martin: “We’ve got the Open Farm Sunday bug!”

“It takes a leap of faith throwing open your farm gates to the public as part of Open Farm Sunday but now that we have done it once, the June event will be a permanent fixture on our calendar. With more than 200 visitors to our hill farm, where we treated them to cows, ewes, seeds, soil, tractor and trailer rides, biodiversity and conservation, you can’t put a value on what that kind of engagement means to the future of food and farming.”

The LEAF Open Farm Sunday information session is on Tuesday 10 March 2020 from 3.30pm to 5pm at Kilmarnock Millennium Hall, Gartocharn, G83 8NF. Registration is encouraged at https://www.trybooking.co.uk/QHU (more information available here) or phone Rebecca 07792 467730. If you would like to attend the full Scottish Agritourism Monitor Farm meeting it commences at 10am - please note this when you register.

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