Scottish Government Yet to Provide Info on Support Options as Industry Debate on Agriculture Bill Starts

Union webinar on Thursday to gauge views on future powers

Scotland’s farmers and crofters are being consulted by Scottish Government on a future agricultural policy for the nation in an information void.

Despite repeated requests for the Scottish Government to put potential future agricultural support options on the table for consideration as part of the debate on a new Agriculture Bill, discussion on the Bill is now underway without all the desired information being made available.

NFU Scotland will hold an online webinar for farmers and crofters on Thursday at 7pm to discuss Scottish Government proposals for an Agriculture Bill and they are invited to register at:

When the proposals for the Bill were launched at the end of August, NFU Scotland was highly critical that the detail that so many farmers and crofters needed if they are to plan for and implement change were not part of the consultation process.

It has continued to push Scottish Government to fill that void and put potential eligible support options into the public domain.  The Union made that specific request in person when Cabinet Secretary Mairi Gougeon and her officials attended the NFU Scotland board meeting earlier this month.

Speaking ahead of chairing NFU Scotland’s webinar on Thursday evening, President Martin Kennedy said: “The Scottish Government consultation on a new Agriculture Bill is a critical step on the road to a new agricultural policy and determining fundamental changes to how farming and crofting will be supported in the future. But farmers and crofters are being asked to discuss these massive issues in an information vacuum.

“It remains hugely frustrating that the Scottish Government, despite several requests from NFU Scotland and other stakeholders has yet to set out any clear options as to how any new powers created by the proposed new Agriculture Bill will put food production at the heart of delivering all the economic, social and environmental benefits that active agricultural businesses will be asked to deliver.

“NFU Scotland has been unequivocal that the new powers must be used to target future direct support at active farming and crofting – both to provide financial stability through post-Brexit turbulence and severe market volatility and to reward actions that improve productivity and build resilience.

“Only with the buy-in of farmers and crofters across Scotland can Scottish Government turn the dry legislation of a new Agriculture Bill into practices that deliver for food, climate and nature but we need to know now what those options look like.

“I urge all farmers and crofters to sign up for our webinar to hear more about this hugely important piece of legislation and how you can play your part by feeding into the Scottish Government consultation.”  

Notes to Editors


Contact Bob Carruth on 07788 927675

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 88/22

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About The Author

Bob Carruth

A dairy farmer’s son, I joined NFU Scotland in 1999 after 13 years as an agricultural journalist. Following spells as a regional manager and policy lead on milk, livestock and animal health and welfare, I became Communications Director in 2008.

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