Lack of environmental vision in Scot Gov agriculture plan

The Scottish Greens have criticised the lack of environmental vision in the Scottish Government’s latest agriculture plan, saying it lags behind Westminster on the issue.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing today (20th June) launched a consultation into the future of agriculture payments post-Brexit, but critics say the proposals don’t go far enough to outline a clear vision for the sector.

Mark Ruskell MSP, food and farming spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

“I welcome the fact that, nearly two years after the Brexit vote, we finally have a public consultation on the issue of what will replace the Common Agricultural Policy. But this document is sorely lacking in vision, with the focus around tweaking and deregulating the current system, rather than radical reform based around a clear set of environmental principles.

“The UK Government’s recent consultation contained strong commitments to promote farming methods that benefit wildlife, biodiversity, and climate change targets whilst mitigating flooding, and to reward farmers for the vital role they play in enhancing and protecting our environment. The Cabinet Secretary’s statement today did not even mention the environment or climate change, and it’s clear the Scottish Government are now lagging far behind Westminster on this.

“CAP is a complicated system, but it is based around simple, clear aims. We have a rare opportunity to develop our own aims for what will replace CAP, but there is no indication that this kind of leadership or vision will come from the Scottish Government any time soon.”