Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today spoken at a Save British Farming rally outside Parliament, protesting against the lowering of UK food standards and the long term risk to the farming community of a “perfect storm” of rising input costs. Speaking alongside Liberal Democrat Rural Affairs spokesperson, Tim Farron MP, Mr Carmichael also highlighted the risk of wider demographic decline in rural communities if farming ceases to be a viable business model for families and called for greater support for rural communities from fellow MPs.
Speaking at the event outside Parliament, Mr Carmichael said:
“Our farmers and our farming communities face existential threats at the moment. The massively increasing costs of inputs, of diesel, of fertiliser, all create a perfect storm that leaves farmers wondering if they will put out the same amount of seed next year, whether they will keep the same number of ewes next year, and whether or not there is a future for them in farming.
“That’s something that doesn’t just affect the farming families that I talk to – it affects the whole rural community. The money that goes into a family farm is then spent in country shops and post offices. It’s these families who will put their children in local schools, keeping the demographic spread so that we don’t just become a glorified and unsustainable “care home” for the rest of the country.
“That is the real threat that the farming communities faces. That is why farming needs our support and it needs the support of the people in the building behind me more than ever. The future of our rural communities depends on the success of this campaign.”