Scottish Arable Sector Climate Group Established

Producing homegrown food is a desirable way of managing the land and has the added benefits of creating growth opportunities in the local economy as well as providing some degree of food security, the importance of which has yet again become all too clear during the current Covid-19 pandemic. SBCS Final Report

A group has been set up to examine how the farming sector can cut emissions and tackle climate change.

Led by the industry, the Arable Sector Climate Group will be chaired by Andrew Moir, former chair of AgriScot. It will take forward and build on the work of the Suckler Beef Climate Report The group will include the farming sector as well as representatives from Nature Scot, SRUC, and QMS

Harvest field in Orkney with view over to Hoy, credit: Bell

The SBCS Final Report

The Programme Board being set up to take forward recommendations made in the SBCS Final Report is to be co-chaired by the Rural Economy Secretary, in the Scottish Government, Fergus Ewing and Jim Walker CBE. The group will include:

  • Claire Simonetta, farming sector
  • Pat Lambert, farming sector
  • NFUS chief executive Scott Walker
  • Andy McGowan from the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers
  • Neil Wilson from the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland (IASS)
  • Tim Bailey of SAOS
  • Bob Yuill from ScotEID.

Its first meeting will be next week, 26th of November.

Commenting,Fergus Ewing said:

“In this year’s Programme for Government, we committed to establishing these farmer-led groups to consider ways to tackle climate change, cut emissions and make key sectors in Scottish farming more sustainable.

“It’s clear that these groups are going to help government change farming and food production for the better. We now need to drive forward this work at pace.

“I am therefore delighted to be able to announce that Andrew Moir has agreed to chair the Arable Sector Climate Group building on the work of the Suckler Beef  Group.

“His Group will be asked to identify measures which support the arable and cropping sectors to contribute to climate change targets. Andrew brings huge experience and knowledge to the role. He will relish the opportunity to work with colleagues in identifying practical solutions to achieve these very important goals. I look forward to seeing their outputs in due course.

“We’ve already seen a hugely positive response to the Suckler Beef Group report. Again, I want to thank Jim, Claire and all the members of the Suckler Beef Climate Group for their work on this.

“I look forward to getting on with the task of turning recommendations and ideas into actions through the newly established programme board. This is a very much an innovative group of people with a vast amount of experience between them and I can’t wait to see what we can collectively achieve.

“We know we have a big challenge ahead of us and very stretching targets to meet to cut emissions but I am determined that agriculture will play its part and move forward to a more sustainable future.”

Scotland’s farmers have served Scotland’s economy and communities for decades if not centuries, and they have always managed to respond and react when needed…It has proven that it is resilient and adaptable, and it will prove this again by rising to the challenge that is climate change. SBCS Final Report

Westray Credit: Noel Donaldson

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