COVID-19: Horticultural companies

Latest update, published on 5th April by Stirling Council on behalf of the Scottish Government.

The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing, MSP, has stated that the Scottish government recognises the significance and importance of horticulture to our economy in providing jobs for rural communities and in generating important export revenues. Whilst recognising the importance of observing the advice from the Chief Medical Officer, the following guidance has been issued to allow horticultural companies to continue their operations during the current pandemic restrictions.

  • It is the responsibility of companies and growers to demonstrate that they can operate safely and that the safety and well-being of their workforce is of paramount importance.
  • The companies and the growers concerned must be able to ensure and demonstrate that they are capable of working in a way which is fully consistent with established social-distancing advice. If they cannot, they must cease operations.
  • Companies and growers must ensure that their members, staff and any sub-contractors are fully briefed on safe working and social-distancing practices and that they are also supervised to ensure that these practices are adhered to.
  • Companies and growers must undertake to monitor the latest advice from the Chief Medical Officer and the First Minister, making necessary changes to their business operations as required, should this advice change from time to time.
  • Companies and growers, where they are able, should endeavour to demonstrate to their customers and the public that their operations are fully compliant with safe working and social-distancing procedures, through use of their website (should they have one).

Meanwhile, officials in the Agriculture and Rural Economy Directorate will work with stakeholders to assist in drawing up standard, safe working procedures that will be published in due course. Officials will also make themselves available to offer advice to individual companies, should it be required. Furthermore, they will undertake to work behind the scenes with Police Scotland and the relevant local authorities to ensure a consistent approach across the country.

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