SNP Euro MP Alyn Smith has been nominated for the prestigious ‘Parliament Magazine MEP Awards 2014’. The awards – in their tenth year – recognise the work of MEPs in numerous fields and the second-term Scots MEP’s work on the Parliament’s powerful Agriculture committee has earned him a place as one of three MEPs in the running for the title.
Smith is the sole Scot to be shortlisted this year for services to Agriculture and will be up against Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos from Portugal and Elisabeth Köstinger from Austria.
“I've been proud to work with and for Scottish Agriculture over the years to sell the good news story that is Scottish Farming. Scotland is a team game and I've been lucky to have a great team around me and a great group of folks back home, from the National Sheep Association, Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, Scottish Organic Producers Association, the National Farmers' Union, Scotland Food and Drink and a cast of thousands.
"The awards are a bit of fun, but any chance to put Scotland on the map will be taken up and this in a small way recognises the contribution we were able to make on behalf of Scotland's farmers in the drafting of the Rural Development package, which was finally voted through at the end of 2013 and the Scottish government is now working on implementing. I truly believe the Rural Development package opens the door to a lot of good things in terms of funding better farming practices, especially on farmscale renewable energy, local abattoirs, short supply chains and local branding, and I was proud to see it voted through.
"We do of course still have a lot to do, and this is an exciting year for political Scotland with the European elections in May close to my heart and of course the referendum in September. A wee bit recognition that we as Scots can get things done in Brussels and are well thought of while we're doing it is a useful reminder that there is all to play for."