TFF Statement of Purpose

The primary purpose of the Tenant Farming Forum is to help to promote a healthy farm tenanted sector in Scotland.

It aims to fulfil this purpose by

1. Providing a discussion forum among those representing groups/organisations with a direct involvement in the sector, and who are committed to consensus building through fair and equitable discussion and representation;

2. Contributing to an understanding of the significance, and the practical implications of implementing current legislation, (for example, at this time, the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003), and any future proposed legislation governing the sector;

3. Identifying specifically, and raising awareness of issues that may inhibit or act as impediments to achieving effective relationships within the sector;

4. Formulating views and opinions as to how effective relationships and ‘best practice’ can be developed and secured;

5. Consulting and liasing with government departments, agencies and other bodies about matters that may directly affect relationships within the sector; and

6. Having a vision as to how the future well being of the sector can be assured in the context of proposed changes in European and UK agricultural and environmental policies, and their implications for the rural economy; and continually reviewing the implications for the sector of new initiatives, for example, such as contract farming, and rural planning developments.

Defining ‘a healthy farm tenanted sector’

In relation to the statement of purpose it is important that we have agreement about what we mean by ‘a healthy farm tenanted sector’. I have made some bold and perhaps erroneous assumptions in what follows in order to elicit views and some clarity as to ‘purpose’.

By a ‘healthy farm tenanted sector’ we mean

  • One in which it is possible for prospective tenants to gain access to productive agricultural land for lease;
  • One in which there is mobility allowing for new entrants and retirements;
  • One in which there is a mutual understanding, respect and agreement as between tenant and landowner as to aims and objectives regarding the subjects of let;
  • One in which there is a ‘minimum’ of uncertainty as to the future security of each party’s interests;
  • One that secures sustainable outcomes for both tenant and landowner as well as for the land, buildings and the environment that they ‘hold in trust’.