Can Scotland's Ag Bill lead the way?

The bill needs to set a clear pathway if Scottish government's ambitions are to be delivered

19th December 2022

Our FFCC Scotland team recently responded to the Scottish Government’s Agriculture Bill consultation. Evidence commissioned by FFCC shows that Scotland can be at the forefront of a transition to agroecology and its fair and sustainable farming practices.

In our response we highlighted:

  • The Scottish Government has stated it wants transformational change to become a world leader in sustainable and regenerative agriculture. We set out that widespread transition to agroecological farming by 2030 can help deliver their ambition.
  • We called for a Scottish Agroecology Working Group to be established to bring stakeholders around the table to develop agroecologically based farming support schemes in Scotland.
  • Currently, it is not clear from the proposals set out, that the level of transformational change that is needed, will be facilitated by the proposals in the consultation. We called for the bill to express the outcomes that payment schemes need to achieve, which should include the transition to agroecological farming to help meet GHG emission targets, provide healthier food for the people of Scotland, protect and enhance biodiversity, and create more resilient and sustainable rural communities.

The Scottish Government will publish the consultation analysis in spring 2023 at the earliest and the bill is not likely to be laid before parliament until the autumn. In the meantime, there is ample time to set up a Scottish Agroecology Working Group and to engage widely on the details of payment scheme co-design with stakeholders.