Extensive national consultation was undertaken across Scotland and the islands by the Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review Group (AHLRG). This was carried out with key stakeholder organisations: National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS); Scottish Tenant Farmers Association (STFA); Scottish Land and Estates (SLE); Scottish Agricultural Arbiters & Valuers Association (SAAVA); and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The AHLRG initially held over 50 meetings, including open meetings and private sessions with tenant farmers, their landlords and professional intermediaries across the country. Those meetings took place in places such as: Isle of Islay; Perth; Oban; Inverness; St Boswells; Stranraer; Dumfries; Ayr; Turriff; and Isle of Bute. An Interim Report was produced and launched at the Royal Highland Show in 2014. A further 12 public and stakeholder meetings were held in October 2014.
The AHLRG also consulted with numerous agricultural and landowning businesses during their review and the views of those businesses were taken into account when developing the policies contained in the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill. Their Final Report was published in January 2015.
As part of the Scottish firms impact test a telephone interview was carried with a representative from Stòras Uibhist, a 93,000 acre mixed estate in Western Isles. Stòras Uibhist Estate is an estate in community ownership. It is home to over 850 tenant crofters and numerous businesses, operating in the aquaculture, agriculture, fishing, shooting, food processing, construction, tourism and service sectors.
A further consultation involving national stakeholders, including stakeholders with island interests, was carried out by the Agricultural Holdings Policy team on behalf of Scottish Government, that included 2 meetings, in January 2019 and a paper consultation followed in July 2019 on persons progressing in agriculture.
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