RBST Scotland was one of a number of organisations invited by the Scottish government to be art of the Small Producer Steering Group tasked to design a funding scheme aimed at small producers. It's guidance has resulted in the launch of the Small Producers Pilot Fund which has £180,000.000 grant funding at it's disposal. 

The fund, which replaces the Small Farm Grant Scheme, is designed to target small producers and crofters with an aspiration to establish more localised supply chains and cut food miles. The funding will be used to provide training courses for small producers, create a resources web page and support two small-scale abattoir projects. 

Scottish rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “The Small Producers Pilot Fund will help small producers grow their businesses and facilitate the growth of a more diverse and resilient food and drink industry.

“This pilot marks the start of our wider efforts to help small producers move to more green and sustainable production methods.”

Rosemary Champion, who represented RBST Scotland on the Steering Group, says: “We were delighted to be able to participate in the process of designing the fund. One area the Group was keen to see receiving support was small abattoirs. We were able to point out that where there were once around eleven abattoirs handling private kill in the Highlands and Islands area, there are now only three and the price of private kill has trebled in the last three years. Seeing funding allocated to supporting two small abattoirs as a result of our recommendations is a very positive step.”

Photograph - Shetland Cattle from RBST Conservation Grazing Course