The Transition to Future (Conditional) Agricultural Support – NFU Scotland’s Approach

SG Thomson, Andrew P Moxey, Jonnie Hall

Research output: Book/Report/Policy Brief/Technical BriefCommissioned report

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Following publication of the Suckler Beef Climate Scheme (SBCS) report, the Dairy, Arable and Hill, Upland and Crofting farmer led groups (FLGs), alongside the pig sector leadership group, have established a clear roadmap on how Scottish agriculture will meet the challenges of combating climate change and biodiversity loss whilst contributing to Scotland’s ambitious food and drink sector targets. These sectoral reports from the FLGs, published between November 2020 and the end of March 2021, provide an informed industry perspective of the challenges and opportunities faced. This NFU Scotland Policy Briefing combines the main messages and recommendations provided and, significantly, proposes how they can be used to design and implement future agricultural policy in Scotland. NFU Scotland’s proposals will deliver on food production, climate change and biodiversity ambitions. The basis for support is ‘how’ production is undertaken, rather than ‘how much’, and such an approach to delivering support will continue to safeguard the socio-economic multipliers that are critical to wider rural prosperity while also meeting obligations in climate and biodiversity terms. The design of a uniquely Scottish, future agricultural policy will require the joint working between the Integrated Implementation Board (and/or sub-groups of it) and Scottish Government (and Agency) working groups that should be established to develop thinking on: transition; biodiversity tiers; GHG tiers; data; disadvantage support; activity; tenure & new entrants; payment rates; smallholders; advice and innovation, and; communications. Here is acceptance that the path to future agricultural policy will be far from linear. It will take time to build capacity and momentum, and the availability of mitigation options and understanding of targets will evolve over time. This is the time for action and here NFU Scotland sets out a clear roadmap for robust and credible Scottish agricultural policy in the future that will deliver on the interdependent objectives required.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNational Farmers Union Scotland
Commissioning bodyNational Farmers Union Scotland
Number of pages23
VolumeMay 2021
Publication statusPrint publication - 21 Jun 2021


  • Agricultural policy
  • Climate chnage
  • biodiversity
  • just transition
  • future
  • CAP
  • farmers
  • support
  • conditionality
  • technical efficiency
  • Brexit


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