Delivering for Scottish Agriculture

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Consultation to Shape Future Agriculture Bill

The next stage in making Scotland a global leader in sustainable and regenerative agriculture has been launched.

People are being urged to take part in a consultation on the Scottish Government’s forthcoming Agriculture Bill.

The Scottish Government climate change plan has committed to reducing agricultural emissions by 31% by 2032.

The consultation covers a range of key themes including:

  • high quality food production;
  • ensuring a fair income for farmers;
  • environmental care with powers and other mechanisms allowing future payments to farmers, crofters and land managers to support delivery of national climate change adaptation objectives;
  • nature restoration and protecting biodiversity;
  • vibrant rural areas;
  • protecting food and health quality;
  • fostering knowledge and innovation.

– Graeme 

I welcome this consultation that will inform a key piece of Scottish Government legislation.

The future of agriculture is key to the local economy here in Angus, as well as being of obvious national importance.

I would encourage not just farmers and food producers across the area but constituents generally to contribute their views.

This Scottish Government is determined to ensure sustainable food production in Scotland in the years ahead, and to support those in the sector to facilitate that.

– Rural Affairs Secretary, Mairi Gougeon

We are supporting our farmers, crofters and land managers to produce more high quality and sustainable food, as well as ensuring our food system is more resilient.

The fact is that high quality food production is very much a part of meeting our net zero targets and dealing with the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.

We have ambitious targets and right across the agriculture sector we have the talent and skills to meet our aims.

I would urge people from all walks of life to get involved and make their views known – these issues affect us all.

Other proposals include plans to develop resilient and thriving rural and island communities, including financial support for rural development and the rural economy.

Measures to modernise tenant farming are explored, such as providing the same opportunity to adapt to the future as the rest of Scottish agriculture. This would allow tenant farmers to play their part in supporting biodiversity and undertake mitigation and adaptation measures.

Also part of the consultation are proposals to ensure that Fair Work conditions, including the real Living Wage, are applied to all Scottish agricultural workers.

Livestock is an important part of the food chain, and views are also sought on making subsidy payments that establish minimum standards for animal health and welfare.

The consultation will include a series of online and in-person events to gather the views of stakeholders and members of the public.

Background

The consultation is open for responses until 21 November.

A new Agriculture Bill is expected in 2023 to enable the delivery of the Scottish Government’s Vision for Agriculture (published in March 2022).

Over the past decade, agricultural output in Scotland has risen by 27% overall, to £2.7 billion in 2019 – excluding subsidy.