SLE Calls for Smooth Transition to Post-CAP Framework

General News

SLE has today submitted its response to the Scottish Government’s Agricultural Transition consultation.

We are calling for a smooth transition to a new programme of support for rural Scotland, following the UK’s departure from the Common Agricultural Policy.

Any economic framework developed by the Scottish Government must enable land managers to produce high quality food, sequester carbon, enhance biodiversity, and create jobs while aiming to be less reliant on public subsidy and become profitable in their own right.

Paul Richardson, SLE Policy Adviser on Agriculture & Climate Change said:

“This is a unique opportunity to design systems and schemes specifically for Scotland to make the most of its natural resources and the skills of the rural workforce.”

The response submitted by SLE includes the following points:

• SLE supports the link between payments and environmental goals, to ensure that we are using land to tackle the climate and biodiversity emergencies, while also maintaining food production at a level which ensures critical mass for adding value and processing.

•Training and guidance are essential for transformational change. The Farm Advisory Service plays a crucial role in this, but should focus on transformational change rather than incremental improvements. Soil and grassland management should become a mainstream consideration.

• All schemes and mechanisms should be long term and enable businesses to plan for the future. They should be ambitious but allow time for the change to be adopted, rather than constantly changing. All change should be evidence led.

• We need a clear and concise policy for all land management types, to enable choices to be made and businesses to plan for the future, particularly in terms of skills required and capital outlay.

Paul Richardson continued:

“Scottish Land & Estates has long believed that integrated land management will provide the best solution to the multiple issues we face. Productive land-based businesses are the bedrock of the rural economy and can make a significant contribution to goals we all want to see – carbon sequestration, food production, good soil health and enhanced biodiversity.”

Read our full consultation submission.