Ecological Practices in Scotland: Comparing Farmer Attitudes to Agroecological Farming

Research output: Working paper/PreprintBriefing note

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Abstract

Addressing both climate and biodiversity emergencies requires support for transitions to more ecological and climate friendly farming practices. Key to this will be the practices already adopted by Scottish farmers but also the incentives we offer to support change in our current farming practice. Key to this will be the underlying attitudes and perspective of farmers towards adopting ecological approaches.
This briefing note outlines the results of a survey of Scottish farmers on their attitudes and perspectives towards ecological practices. It is part of the EU funded LIFT project looking at farming across Europe. We compare Scottish farmer perceptions to those of counterpart farmers in mainland Europe. This allows us to identify whether there are stronger or weaker levels of agreement towards these statements and whether they are significantly different from a mainland European perspective.
We find that Scottish farmers have higher levels of agreement in a number of areas towards positive external influence, namely supply chain acceptability of ecological approaches and social acceptance of ecological approaches. Conversely, we find lower levels of agreement to more internal influences such as farmer outlooks towards ecological approaches and some farming goals. This suggests they identify less as an ecological farmer compared to those on mainland Europe. Nevertheless, agreement is still high with Scottish farmers towards some of these statements.
Overall, the surveyed Scottish farmer perspectives are positive towards ecological approaches, when compared against other European farmers. Raising favourable outlook outlooks towards these practices may be enabled by a policy direction which embeds these approaches within a replacement to the CAP as a means to promote more mainstreaming of practices.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherSRUC
Number of pages8
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - 23 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Ecology
  • Farmer Perception
  • Scotland

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