Here you will find our response to the Delivering our Vision for Scottish Agriculture – Proposals for a new Agriculture Bill . This response was developed by our Scotland Policy Group.
CIEEM’s Key Comments:
- There is important recognition of the role of farmers and land managers in contributing to non-food production objectives of the Scottish Government, particularly net zero and biodiversity. This is a major step forward at policy level.
- CIEEM strongly supports payments to farmers to support climate change mitigation and adaptation, integrated land management, protection and restoration of biodiversity, air, water and soil quality.
- Funding should be prioritised to Tiers 2, 3 and 4 to support and deliver for nature and climate. There seems to be an emphasis on base level direct payment which we consider does not match the wider government objectives. The basic payment should include funding to support and deliver for nature and climate change alongside other measures for environmentally sustainable food production.
- The cross compliance and the conditionality measures must provide significant benefits for the environment and go beyond standard practice to encourage more positive benefits for nature and ecosystem services.
- Payments and monitoring need to be conducted over the relevant time period. Payments can’t be linked to short term measures that don’t contribute to long-term nature recovery.
- Farmers must have access to advice that is professional, objective and evidence-based from advisors who are competent to deliver this. CIEEM has developed a Farm Environment Advisor Competency Framework with sixteen areas of competency for farm advisors. There must be much more investment in advice, knowledge exchange, research, and CPD to support the transition to nature-friendly and climate-friendly farming.