19 February 1998
Maitland Mackie urges more openness in food production

MAITLAND MACKIE, former vice-president of the National Farmers Union and the chairman of Grampian Enterprise, said farmers were deluding themselves about their crucial role in the rural economy.

And he said their future was being damaged by their unwillingness to open up their on-farm procedures to scrutiny.

He criticised farmers failure to embrace farm assurance schemes with enthusiasm. He said this “arrogance” and “reluctance” to be open about food production would lead to a loss of markets as other countries were not so covert.

He said farmers were “kidding themselves” if they still saw agriculture as the mainstay of the rural economy.

“We have to give our customers comfort and confidence in the food we produce,” he said.

Mr Mackie made his comments at the opening of a centre by the Miller family at its newly-extended agricultural and retail complex at Midmar.

  • The Scotsman 19/02/98 page 30