Mairi Gougeon – 2022 Comments on Sustainable Farming in Scotland

The comments made by Mairi Gougeon, the Rural Affairs Secretary in the Scottish Government, on 29 April 2022.

We want Scotland to become a global leader in sustainable and regenerative agriculture and our farmers, crofters and land managers have a crucial role to play in helping us meet our climate emissions and nature restoration targets. We have been clear in our commitment to supporting farmers and crofters to produce more of our food more sustainably which will ultimately help make our food system more resilient.

To help them on this journey, we will continue to support active farming and food production with direct payments.

Many are already leading the way having carried out carbon audits and soil sampling work but we are offering support to encourage all farmers and crofters to undertake this.

We are planning to introduce enhanced conditionality for payments with targeted outcomes for biodiversity gain and a drive towards low carbon approaches. The work on the NTP has been co-developed with industry to ensure that farmers, crofters and land managers have what they need as we move towards the new Scottish Agriculture Bill which will be brought forward in 2023 and will provide a replacement for the Common Agricultural Policy.

I want to encourage all eligible people to make a claim once the portal is open and take the next step towards the future of Scottish agriculture. We have made the claims process as simple and straightforward as possible and it can be completed and accessed online. Anyone who requires any support with making a claim should contact their local RPID area office.