Today, Edward Mountain MSP called on the Scottish Government to find a ‘swift resolution’ for barley growers who fear their crop will be left without a market if whisky distilleries continue to remain closed due to the lockdown.
The Highlands and Islands MSP raised the issue during a Scottish Parliament Virtual Question Time covering the Rural Economy and the Environment portfolios.
Edward Mountain MSP asked: “farmers across Scotland have just finished planting hundreds of thousands of acres of spring barley, specifically for whisky production. If this barley is not required, due to distillery closures, the effects will be devastating to the agricultural industry. What advice and reassurance can you give distillers and farmers?”
The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism acknowledged the seriousness of the issue and confirmed the Scottish Government are the giving matter a lot of attention with the support of NFU Scotland.
Following the virtual question time, Edward Mountain MSP commented:
“I am pleased that the Cabinet Secretary acknowledges the challenges faced by barley growers and whisky distillers. This is not a problem that will go away for as long as whisky distilleries remained closed. It is important that a swift resolution can be found for the 2020 barley harvest.”