19 January 2000
Scots fate worse than Clearances

SCOTTISH farmers faces a fate worse than the “Highland Clearances” if the market does not turn around soon, a leading auctioneer has claimed.

Brian Pack, chief executive of auctioneer ANM Group, said farmers would be financially driven from the land unless the domestic industry was supported.

Scottish net farm income had dropped from 595m in 1995 to 100m in 1998, said Mr Pack, who estimated that 1999 incomes were “not much better than zero”.

About 500 farmers heard Mr Pack make the claim at a Thainstone meeting attended by Sean Rickard, an economist at Cranfield School of Management.

Mr Rickard told the audience that the agricultural industry would not have a future if it insisted on being bailed out over and over again.