Media release: Ethical farming in the spotlight tomorrow

David Finlay with cow and calves

Photo opportunity:

Various times 9am-5pm Thursday 16th May

Rainton Farm / Cream o’ Galloway Visitor Centre, DG7 2DR.

MAIRI Gougeon, Scottish Government Minister for Rural Affairs and Natural Environment, will be speaking at 9.45am and will participate in photos at 10am. Ms Gougeon will not be available for interviews; however, event organisers and speakers will.

Contact Lorna Young on 07872 492283 or email

Farmers, researchers and academics from Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Ireland, the USA, and from across the UK, will gather in south-west Scotland tomorrow at a conference to discuss the growing appetite for ethical farming and food production.

The Ethical Farming Conference is being co-organised by four Scottish farms – Mossgiel Farm, Peelham Farm, Rainton Farm and Whitmuir Organic – and will explore regenerative models of food production that directly address public concerns about climate change, biodiversity and animal welfare. The conference venue is Rainton Farm, home of The Ethical Dairy, recognised as the largest cow with calf dairy farm in Europe.

Wilma Finlay, of Rainton Farm, said: “The conference is the start of a conversation that invites our industry to meaningfully explore the very real concerns that the public has with current food producing systems and how we might address them. Ethically-produced food is an important emerging market and livestock farming needs to have a place within that market.

“In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a ‘climate emergency’ declared by political leaders across the UK.  We’ve also seen the publication of the UN’s IPBES report on devastating biodiversity loss, with the report calling for more sustainable, regenerative and ecological farming – exactly the topics that are being addressed in this conference.

“Eighty-five per cent of Scotland’s agricultural land is officially classified as ‘less favoured’ agriculturally and many of those farms in the ‘severely disadvantaged’ and ‘disadvantaged’ areas are already farming ecologically or could transition to agri-ecological farming relatively easily.

“There has never been a more important time to address these complex issues and there is a clear opportunity for Scotland to take the lead in incentivising ecological farming; pioneering a pasture-based, regenerative approach that is as sustainable as it is productive.”

The conference will be opened by Mairi Gougeon, Minister for Rural Affairs and Natural Environment.

Mairi Gougeon said: “For a relatively small country, Scotland’s efforts to tackle climate change, support farmers, and ensure the highest standards of animal welfare, mean that we should be leading the way internationally in ethical and sustainable farming.

“I know that there is already a lot of enthusiasm for this amongst Scotland’s farmers but I would encourage everyone working within the industry to embrace taking a more future-focused approach to their work, to ensure that we continue to produce an abundance of food and drink, in an increasingly unpredictable global climate.”

Full programme information is available on the conference website:



To request a press pass for the conference please contact:

* Lorna Young on or phone 01387 263 886 or 07872 492283.

To speak to organisers in advance of the conference please contact:

* Wilma Finlay on  or phone 01557 814040.

The Ethical Farming Conference photo library is at:

Photos from the event will be uploaded to this folder as soon as they become available.

Notes for editors:

Ethical Farming Conference is supported by the Connect Local Regional Food Fund, which is financed by The Scottish Government, in partnership with industry, and has been created to promote local food and drink, in line with Ambition 2030. (

MEDIA RELEASE issued by Lorna Young. You too can share your stories (aka press or media releases), on this site. Email here for more information.

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Contact: Lorna Young
Phone: 01387263886