Small-scale farmers & organic producers need certainty

Mark Ruskell MSP, Food & Farming spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today urged Scottish Ministers to end the uncertainty facing farmers who carry out environmentally-sustainable practices.

In response to a question in Parliament from Mr Ruskell on continuing delays to Common Agricultural Policy payments, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing claimed that providing certainty over "agri-environment" payments was "literally impossible" due to lack of clarity from the UK Government in light of the Brexit vote.

Mark Ruskell MSP said:

"While farmers and food producers across the board have been hit by the Scottish Government's latest IT shambles, small-scale and organic producers who benefit from agri-environment funds face particularly difficult decisions given the lack of certainty. Agri-environment funding helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve water quality, control flooding and support environmentally-sustainable food production.

"As we heard from the UK Committee on Climate Change today, we must encourage more sustainable land use to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. The response to my question today from the Cabinet Secretary was far from reassuring. Simply blaming the Westminster Government isn't good enough. Greens will continue to champion funding for sustainable farming schemes."