Agriculture MEP visits Borders Chamber

Published: 30 Nov 2012 09:300 comments

MORE notable figures in politics are set to lecture with the Borders Chamber of Commerce.

Following previous visits by Alyn Smith MEP and former cabinet secretary Jim Mather the Chamber have lined up Richard Lochhead, the minister for Rural Affairs and Environment, for February 2013.

Alyn Smith, MEP, one of Scotland's six MEPs and a member of the parliament's Agriculture Committee, visited Kelso last Thursday to deliver an address on Scotland's food production from farm gate to kitchen larder.

He told his audience at the Cross Keys hotel that Scotland in general and the Borders in particular were in the world's top league when it came to animal welfare standards, the application of innovative rural science and the quality of local food and drink.

He added: "There's no doubt that a prosperous agricultural sector drives not just the rural economy, but has a huge impact right across the community and the country. Farmers buy supplies and spend their money locally, so if they're making profits, everyone benefits."

Afterwards Alyn said: "It was a fantastic event. I really enjoyed meeting people from the agricultural community and from the Chamber. I'm fully aware of the quality of Borders produce and I will do whatever is within my power to promote it."

Scottish Borders Chamber Convener James Aitken said: "We were absolutely delighted to see Alyn Smith come to Kelso and to receive such a large and enthusiastic turnout from our members and others.

"Alyn provided real insight into Scotland's relationship with Europe and as a member of the Agriculture Committee, he was able to give an update on CAP reform, which he's closely involved in shaping.

Mr Aitken added: "Having also enjoyed an interesting and successful presentation by the former Enterprise Minister, Jim Mather, in September, we're now extending our programme of top level speakers further with a visit by Richard Lochhead to the Cardrona Hotel in Peebles on 20 February.

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