New pilot fund opens to support small producers in Scotland

A number of new support measures are to be introduced by the Scottish government to help reduce food miles, support local supply chains, and assist small producers as it prepares to dole out more than £180,000 under the Small Producers Pilot Fund.

The new fund, which replaces the Small Farm Grant Scheme, has been co-designed by the Small Producer Steering Group.

The group includes representatives from 20 organisations including NFU Scotland, Lantra Scotland, the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and the Landworkers Alliance.

See also: NFU Scotland to raise subscription fees by 10% in 2024

Funding will be used to provide training courses for small producers, create a resources web page, and support two small-scale abattoir projects.

Scottish rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “The Small Producers Pilot Fund will help small producers grow their businesses and facilitate the growth of a more diverse and resilient food and drink industry.

“This pilot marks the start of our wider efforts to help small producers move to more green and sustainable production methods.

“The Scottish government remains committed to supporting small producers and empowering them to play a key role in making our vision for agriculture a reality.”