The Scottish Government has announced the creation of a new Agricultural Board which will take forward the proposals of the farmer led advisory groups which were set up previously.
The establishment of the Agriculture Reform Implementation Oversight Board (ARIOB) has been welcomed by Orkney Constituency MSP, Liam McArthur, LibDem.
“A new board tasked with developing future agricultural policy has been a long time coming. Farmers in Orkney, and across country, have for some time now been calling out for greater detail from the government about future agricultural policy and support schemes.
“I welcome the establishment of this board which represents Scotland’s diverse agricultural sector. It will be important, however, that it takes proper account of the different circumstances and approaches to agriculture across the country, in particular the unique needs of island communities.
“This will be essential for Orkney to be able to play its part in achieving our bold targets on cutting emissions, increasing biodiversity and building a more sustainable future for the sector, while remaining a lynchpin of Scotland’s wider food and drink sector.”
The reports from the Farmer-led Groups were published in March 2021.
A Consultation is now open.
The consultation, ‘Agricultural Transition in Scotland: first steps towards our national policy’ is open until 17 November 2021.
The Agriculture Reform Implementation Oversight Board Members are as follows:
|Adele Jones||Sustainable Food Trust|
|Marion MacCormick||Supply Chain, Scotland Food and Drink|
|Donald Mackinnon||Crofter and Chair of Scottish Crofting Federation|
|Andy McGowan||MD Scottish Pig Producers|
|Vicki Nash||RSPB trustee|
|Anne Rae McDonald||Farmer|
|Mark Reed||Academic with expertise in behaviour change including peatland restoration|
|Pete Ritchie||Farmer and SE Link (Nourish Scotland)|
|Mike Robinson||Academic and co-chair of Farming 1.5|
|Kate Rowell||Farmer, QMS and Just Transition commission|
|Sarah Simpson||Farmer and agricultural consultant|
|Louise Welsh||Supply Chain, Food Standards Scotland|
|Nikki Yoxall||Farmer and NatureScot|
Rural Affairs Secretary in the Scottish Government, Mairi Gougeon said:
“Our vision for the future of rural Scotland is a positive one. We see our land managers and world-class producers thriving, while backing our world-leading climate change agenda and our response to the biodiversity crisis.
“The Farmer-led Groups have provided us with a strong footing for refocussing the sector and shifting to more environmentally-friendly practices. We are hugely grateful for the important work they undertook at pace and I want to thank all the groups for the foundation they have given us to build on, particularly in the beef sector.
“The establishment of the board will help us to make early progress in delivering emissions reductions and I look forward to working with the board members closely to deliver the change and the outcomes urgently required. I welcome and value the opportunity to work together with Martin as co-chairs to drive forward and lead this vital change programme, to give farming and food production the long term, sustainable future we are both committed to delivering.
“I have asked the group to create a package of measures, which we will fund, that can be agreed as part of our approach to COP 26. This National Test Programme will include early progress on reducing livestock emissions and the package should be implemented by spring 2022, with recruitment of farmers and crofters expected to begin this autumn.
“Meantime, it is also important we remain focused on the long-term future for agriculture. That is why I have launched a consultation exercise today which will ensure everyone can play their part in shaping the future of farming, food production and land use in Scotland. By working together I am confident that we will be able to support Scottish farming to maintain its world leading credentials in an ever-changing environment.”