Fergus Ewing MSP

Written 23 posts

Former Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism

Sustainable Tourism

19th September 2020

Blog piece from Rural Economy & Tourism Secretary on Sustainable Tourism as part of Climate Week

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The EU has been a good friend to rural Scotland

31st January 2020

The EU has been a good friend to rural Scotland.

For the whole of the Scottish Parliament’s lifetime, the rural economy has benefitted from our membership.

Over the years, our engagement with it has allowed Scotland to push our case on everything from agriculture and fisheries policy reform, to fishing quotas and forestry. Scotland has had a voice in the room – a room we will no longer be able to enter.

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Start planning for your low carbon future

17th January 2020

2019 will be remembered as the year that Scotland took a stand on the global climate emergency and saw the introduction of our new world-leading climate change legislation.

This sets a target date for Scotland to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045. This means that our contribution to climate change will end, definitively, within one generation. This transition will be for the benefit of our environment, our people, now and in the future.

Let me be clear though, achieving this will require additional effort and will present challenges and opportunities, including for farming and food production.

It is indisputable that our agricultural industry has a vital role to play in tackling climate change. Indeed I have been clear for many years that farming and food production are part of the solution.

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Agriculture Support Outlined

1st November 2019

Following a six year campaign, and sustained pressure by successive Scottish Ministers and key farmer and crofter organisations, an historic wrong has finally been righted. Scotland is getting its convergence funding after all.

This wrong saw the UK qualify for a £190 million uplift in EU funding, but Scotland only received £30 million. That money provided for an uplift, that without Scotland’s extremely low average rate per hectare, the UK would not have qualified for.

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Women in Agriculture

15th October 2019

It has been a privilege to co-Chair the Scottish Government’s Women in Agriculture Taskforce.

It is mostly made up of women, though a few men are also involved.

They have a range of backgrounds, but all of them have an interest and a stake in the future of farming and food production. They all have real life experience, knowledge and skills to share.

In particular, I want to pay tribute to the drive, energy and enthusiasm of my co-Chair Joyce Campbell. She has been key to the taskforce’s success.


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Rural Support Bill

13th September 2019

Farmers and agriculture businesses in Scotland are at the heart of our rural communities. They manage and protect our countryside, produce high quality food and are a key part of any solution to climate change.

With the UK hurtling towards a potential no deal Brexit, it is absolutely vital that we have the necessary mechanisms in place to mitigate any impacts as far as possible. Try as we might, we can’t mitigate against every impact, so individual farmers, crofters, land managers, individuals and businesses should be looking seriously at what they can do now, if they are not already.

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Rural Scotland and the Programme for Government

12th September 2019

Rural Scotland makes a vital contribution to our national economy.

Our rural and island assets provide natural and business resources for key economic sectors, especially food and drink, but also energy, tourism, creative industries and life science. I am clear that we must work to build on these successes to improve the wellbeing of our rural, coastal and island communities and provide a positive future for them.

Having declared a global climate emergency, achieving our climate ambitions will involve harnessing the power and capital of rural Scotland. This is a challenge, but also an opportunity for us to help people stay on the land, create sustainable, productive communities and businesses – and I am clear that our rural population are key allies in tackling climate change.

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Fair Work key to new South of Scotland Enterprise agency

5th June 2019

Economy Ministers in the Scottish Government share a common aim – to deliver a more economic prosperity to more of Scotland’s people and communities through inclusive growth. Fair work sits at the heart of our approach. If, as I hope, the bill to create a South of Scotland enterprise agency passes this Wednesday, it will…

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Farming and the climate emergency

21st May 2019

Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon blogs on farming and the global climate emergency.

The First Minister has declared a global climate emergency. The evidence is irrefutable and the science is compelling. People are clear, they expect action and the world needs to act now, not least for future generations.

We are leading this response. This was made clear when we acted immediately to the advice of the Committee on Climate Change by lodging amendments to our Climate Change Bill to set a 2045 target for net zero emissions.

Just last week another warning was issued about the damage humans are causing to our natural environment this time in relation to global biodiversity. But there is nothing to be gained from playing a blame game nor from singling out any one sector.

So I am equally clear, that farming should not be held up as the problem. It is part of the solution.

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In the news: EAT-Lancet Report

17th January 2019

As you may have seen in the news (BBC, Guardian) today, the EAT-Lancet Commission has published a report, which looks at addressing the need to feed a growing global population a healthy diet, while also defining sustainable food systems that will minimise damage to our planet. The report describes a universal healthy diet, based on…

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