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New group to tackle inequality in agriculture

Taskforce will consider steps to ensure better representation.

A new group to ensure women are better represented in farming has been announced by the First Minister.

The Women in Agriculture taskforce will consider issues such as better succession planning, more appropriate health and safety, better access to training and progression within the industry.

It will be co-chaired by Fergus Ewing, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity and Joyce Campbell, a working farmer and entrepreneur based in North Sutherland.

The announcement comes as the Women in Farming and the Agriculture Sector research report is published.

The Newcastle University research, commissioned by the Scottish Government, is the first major investigation into issues facing women in the agricultural sector in Scotland.

The report recommended introducing mechanisms to enable progression from young farmers’ groups to more senior roles in sector bodies; the establishment of a talent bank of suitably-qualified women for farming positions and mechanisms to identify women mentors to support both male and female farm apprentices.

Speaking at the Royal Highland Show, the First Minister said:

“This government has always placed equality at the heart of all it does, and it is absolutely right that fairness extends to all sectors of Scottish society.

“This report is a welcome insight into Scotland’s agricultural sector. While the report recognises the hugely valuable role that women play in our farming sector, it also highlights some significant challenges that are holding women back from playing an equal and equitable role in agriculture. And these  need to be addressed.

“That is why I am delighted to announce this taskforce to look in-depth at the report’s recommendations to ensure the potential of women in farming is realised to better represent the forward-facing, 21st century Scotland in which we live.”

Background

View further details of Women in Farming and the Agriculture Sector.

Channel website: http://www.gov.scot/

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