The North East Scotland Agriculture Advisory Group (NESAAG)
Aberdeenshire Council leads a major cross-sectoral forum that lobbies on behalf of the sector as well as providing support and advice both to the agricultural sector and the wider rural economy of the North East.
Future NESAAG Meetings
- Wednesday 22nd January 2014, 10.00am, Committee Room 5, Woodhill House.
- Wednesday 4th June 2014, 10.00am, Committee Room 5, Woodhill House
- Wednesday 5th November 2014, 10.00am, Committee Room 5, Woodhill House
Previous NESAAG Events/Meetings/News
Presentations from the meeting on 6th November 2013
Presentations from meeting on 5th June 2013
Presentations from meeting on 16th April 2013
Presentations from meeting on 3rd October 2012
Presentations from meeting on 20th June 2012
Presentations from meeting on 15th February 2012
Presentations from meeting on 5th October 2011
Presentation by Prof Bill McKelvey 14th June 2011
Capping of payments: NESAAG lobbying letter
Presentations from meeting on 3 March 2011
NESAAG Response to Land Use Strategy Consultation
NESAAG Response to the Consultation on Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD)
NESAAG Consultation Response to Pack Inquiry Interim Report
NESAAG Evidence to Pack Inquiry into Future Support for Agriculture in Scotland
Professor Charles Milne's Presentation to NESAAG 18th September 2009
NESAAG Response to Implementation of Health Check Consultation Questions 9-20
Plant Protection Products (PPP) lobbying update – reply from DG SANCO
Plant Protection Products (PPP) lobbying
Agriculture in Aberdeenshire - Looking to the Future
- Findings from the FarmPath Project - Presentation by Annie McKee (pdf 802kb)
- Science to Products: Mylnefield Research Services and Plant Breeding - Presentation by Dr Jonathan Snape (pdf 3604kb)
- Managing Water Margins: Is Buffering Best for Biodiversity? - Presentation by Jenni Stockan (pdf 5253kb)
- CAP Reform Post 2013: Implications for the North East - Presentation by Keith Matthews (pdf 1781kb)
- Scotland’s Forest Based Industry: Securing the Green Economy – Presentation by Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive, Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor) (pdf 893kb)
- Quality Meat Scotland presentation by Jim McLaren (pdf 17.2mb)
- FarmPath: Recent Research on Farming Transitions in Aberdeenshire by Dr Lee-Ann Sutherland, James Hutton Institute (pdf 1.10mb)
- Current Developments in Agricultural Tenancy by Clive Phillips, Partner, Brodies LLP (pdf 90kb)
- Arable Sector Presentation by Alan Bruce, SAC (pdf 186kb)
- Research Presentation by Dr Lee-Ann Sutherland, James Hutton Institute (pdf 285kb)
- Research Presentation by Prof Deb Roberts, University of Aberdeen (pdf 153kb)
- Brian Pack Presentation on Doing Better Initiative (pdf 24.1kb)
- Education Presentation by Dr Kyrsten Black, SRUC (pdf 4.30mb)
- Forestry Commission Update (pdf kb)
- Timber Industry Presentation by Malcolm Nicol (ppt 942kb)
- Presentation on Cool Farm Tool by Dr Jon Hillier (pdf 3.12mb)
- Presentation on the Sustainable Uplands Project by Dr Mark Reed (pdf 4.99mb)
- Rowett Presentation by Prof Peter Morgan (pdf 8.28mb)
- Presentation by Prof Iain Gordon (pdf 5.41mb)
- Presentation by Linda Kosciewicz Fleming (pdf 1.01mb)
- NESAAG letter to Scottish Funding Council: Provision for Expansion of Land-based Further Education in Aberdeenshire (pdf 33.4kb)
- Scottish Funding Council response to NESAAG (pdf 308kb)
- Presentation on SAOS by James Graham, Chief Executive (pdf 1.57Mb)
- Presentation on EU Budget by Martin Brebner, Aberdeenshire Council (pdf 48.5kb)
- Presentation on CAP post 2013 by Jonathan Hall, NFUS (pdf 136kb)
- Scottish Funding Council - NESAAG lobbying letter (pdf 110kb)
NESAAG has written to the European Commission to lobby against the introduction of a cap to future farm payments.
- Presentation on Update on QMS Activites (pdf 1.92mb) by Uel Morton, Chief Executive, QMS
- Presentation on Wind Energy Economics in Aberdeenshire (pdf 616kb) by Julian Bell, Senior Rural Business Consultant, SAC.
- Link to Julian Bell's full report.
- Presentation on EU CAP-IRE Project in Aberdeenshire (pdf 3.90mb) by Deb Roberts, Reader in Property at University of Aberdeen Business School.
The NESAAG consultation response to the Pack Inquiry Interim Report can be found below. The Inquiry Team will produce a Final Report on Future Support for Agriculture in Scotland in June 2010.
The NESAAG response to the Call for Evidence by the Scottish Government Inquiry into Future Support for Agriculture in Scotland (Brian Pack Inquiry) can be found below. The Inquiry Team will produce an Interim Report around late December which will in turn go out to consultation and will be the subject of the next NESAAG meeting on 25th February 2010.
In 2008, NESAAG commissioned a report led by Peter Cook entitled 'Agriculture in Aberdeenshire – Looking to the Future' (see below) which highlighted the vital contribution made by the meat processing sector to the agricultural industry in NE Scotland and noted the high costs of inspection and compliance which are being borne by processors on lower throughput volumes. Professor Charles Milne, the new Director of Food Standards Agency Scotland, addressed these concerns at the meeting of NESAAG on 18th September 2009. His presentation is attached.
NESAAG has received a response to the lobbying letter sent on 8th January 2009 (see below) to the respective EU Commissioners for Health, Environment and Agriculture.
The letter refers to a report by an independent consultant which claims that the new Regulation will generate human health benefits and ‘a positive overall economical (sic) impact’ but went on to dismiss concerns that the withdrawal of certain products would result in increased food costs as ‘simplistic’.
The UK Pesticides Safety Directorate (part of Health and Safety Executive) disagrees, asserting that: ‘The amendments to the Authorisation Regulation improve to some extent on the Council’s 'common position' as regards the hazard criteria, and most of the Regulation can be accepted.
But the hazard criterion on potential human endocrine disrupters will hit UK crop yields, for no recognisable benefit to human health. The UK cannot support these measures until the Commission states clearly what their impact will be.’
The Regulation is expected to be ratified at a meeting of the Council of Ministers around 23rd - 24th March 2009. NESAAG will continue to press for all available derogations to be adopted when the Regulation is transposed into UK law.
NESAAG has been very active in lobbying MEPs and European Commissioners (for Environment, Health and Agriculture) to adopt a science-based approach to the new PPP Regulation, backed up by a full impact assessment of the proposed changes.
Disappointingly, the European Parliament voted on 13th January 2009 to change the basis of PPP assessment from risk-based to hazard-based with no impact assessment. Although the Regulation has still to be ratified by the Council of Ministers and implemented by individual member states, a number of products which are essential for maintaining agricultural and horticultural crop yield and quality are likely to be lost in the years ahead. Work is urgently required to identify, test and approve alternative products.
Surprisingly, food producers outside the EU will still be able to export food to Europe which has been treated with PPPs banned in the EU, despite an official study for DG Agri which reports that analysis of food produced outside Europe typically shows residues two or three times higher than that found on food produced in Europe.
This report was commissioned by NESAAG (the North East of Scotland Agriculture Advisory Group), Aberdeenshire Council and Scottish Enterprise. Aberdeenshire Council has periodically commissioned reviews of the position of agriculture in the area, the last being for the period to 2003. The current work updates this series for the period 2003 to 2007. However, in addition to the usual statistical review of agriculture this study presents a strategic review of the position of the industry, looks more widely at links into the rural economy and the food and drink sector, tries to look at future prospects and challenges, and presents recommendations for action.