Scottish farming

New agriculture bill for Scotland

Members of the Scottish Parliament have unanimously backed an agriculture bill as the country looks to hasten its adoption of sustainable and regenerative farming and crofting.

The Agriculture and Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill will ensure farmers and crofters are supported to produce more food sustainably, ultimately working toward the long-term goal of climate mitigation and nature restoration.

It will allow for a framework of payments that is mindful of the sector’s needs, according to the Scottish Government.

The move is in support of its wider agricultural targets, which include the:

  • adoption and use of sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices;
  • production of high-quality food;
  • promotion and support of agricultural practices that protect and improve animal health and welfare;
  • facilitation of on-farm nature restoration, climate mitigation and adaptation; and
  • enablement of thriving rural communities.
Mairi Gougeon comment

“Our Vision for Agriculture sets out how the Government will support farming and food production in Scotland to become a global leader in sustainable and regenerative agriculture,” explained Mairi Gougeon, Scotland’s rural affairs secretary.

“The Bill provides a future framework that will help deliver this Vision, supporting farmers and crofters to meet our immediate and long-term food needs sustainably and to adapt to new opportunities and challenges.

“It will enable the delivery of support schemes that will ensure that agriculture continues to play its part in cutting emissions, mitigating climate change, enhancing nature and biodiversity, together with food production.”

The Scottish food and farming sector has a “critical role” in a sustainable and resilient food system, added Gougeon, before emphasising that as the country undergoes its transition to its new support framework, measures will be taken to do so in a “just” manner and “no cliff edges in support” will be left.

For more information on the work being done to limit the impact of climate change, catch up to an exclusive online conference hosted by Public Sector Executive earlier this year on all things decarbonisation.

Image credit: iStock


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