NFU Scotland has established an industry-backed roadmap of how Scottish agricultural policy will address the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, while contributing to the ambitious goals of the food and drink sector of Scotland.
Working with policy experts, he distilled the concepts and principles of the Farmer-led Climate Change Groups (FLGs) of the Scottish Government and the own union Steps to change proposals for designing a future agricultural policy framework.
Jonnie Hall, policy director at NFU Scotland, Steven Thomson, agricultural economist at Scotland’s Rural College, and Andrew Moxey, economist at Pareto Consulting, unveiled the proposals today, outlining proposals to simultaneously tackle food production, change climate and biodiversity.
The basis of support is “how” production is undertaken, rather than “how much”. The authors believe that such an approach will continue to protect the rural economy, while recognizing the urgency of tackling emissions and biodiversity loss.
NFU Scotland and the FLGs recognize that agriculture can and should contribute to the achievement of these goals, as does the Farming for 1.5 Degrees Final Report published this week.
NFU Scotland President Martin Kennedy said: ‘Now is the time to act as time is running out, Scottish agriculture needs guidance on a future agricultural policy framework that can enable a “Just transition” from where we are today to where we need to be in just a few years.
“The success of agriculture in the face of Scotland’s lofty climate, biodiversity and food ambitions is that everyone, especially the Scottish Government, recognizes that action is needed now to drive change.
“In the absence of alternative models for policy implementation, the approach we advocate has industry support and will ensure that agriculture and crofting across Scotland responds to environmental and climate challenges. ‘a unique Scottish way while providing high quality sustainable food production. which underpins our food and beverage sector and preserves the social and economic fabric of our rural areas. ”
Kennedy added: ‘Our message to the Scottish Government is that a start-up change within the industry is needed now so that farmers and smallholders can begin to adjust their systems and businesses through a transition phase up. ‘in 2025 before the implementation of a new Scottish agricultural policy.
“The rhetoric of change must now be replaced by delivery. “
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