SLE provides evidence to Scottish Affairs Committee on the future of Scottish Agriculture

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Press Release

Scottish Land & Estates today provided evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee on the future of agriculture in Scotland.

The session at SRUC’s Oatridge Campus, attended by academics and stakeholders from the farming sector, allowed MPs the chance to gather views on post-Brexit agricultural policy following written submissions entered to the Select Committee earlier this month.

SLE’s written evidence can be read here. The full session at SRUC Oatridge can be viewed here.

Eleanor Kay, Policy Adviser (Agriculture) at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “Our departure from the Common Agricultural Policy presents the opportunity to be bold and innovative– revitalising Scottish farming as part of a new long-term approach towards all forms of land use.

“In the short-term, we need to know the direction of travel from government which will allow businesses to adapt for the change that will inevitably come.

“The fragility of Scottish agriculture isn’t solely down to Brexit and there are many issues which need to be addressed immediately such as the supply chain, demographics and infrastructure.

“There are also the challenges of delivering a thriving tenanted sector and making progress on climate change targets.

“We want to see a more holistic approach to land management adopted which breaks down barriers between farming, forestry, conservation and moorland management. Land management, especially in Scotland where the quality of land is poorer than south of the border, will need to be supported by the public purse but in return land managers must be prepared to demonstrate the social, economic and environmental benefits that they can provide.

“Rural businesses are aware change is inevitable but the impact of this change on Scottish agriculture and the wider rural economy has to be fully recognised and properly managed.”