Rural and Environment

  • The EU has been a good friend to rural Scotland

    31st January 2020 by

    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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  • In the news: Land use report

    23rd January 2020 by

    You may have seen coverage in the media around the UK Committee on Climate Change’s latest report into Land Use. The report states that land use must change to meet the UK's net zero target. Although it is possible to reduce the emission of Greenhouse Gases in ways that are consistent with other strategic priorities for land - such as food production and biodiversity - the current UK & Devolved Administration policy frameworks for food production, forestry, and environment will not achieve the net zero target and must change significantly. The Scottish Government’s response is below.

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  • Start planning for your low carbon future

    17th January 2020 by

    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…

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  • Alternative Christmas with the National Chef

    11th December 2019 by

    Minister for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon (left) with Gary Maclean, Scotland’s National Chef (right)

    This Christmas Gary Maclean, Scotland’s National Chef, is encouraging people to consider making something new and tasty with Scottish produce. If you are looking for some inspiration why not try making marinated Scotch Lamb, smoked haddock croquettes or a spicy carrot cake by following Gary’s alternative Christmas recipes? Gigot of Scotch Lamb marinated in mustard,...

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  • Agriculture Support Outlined

    1st November 2019 by

    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 by

    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. But….

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  • Trading with the EU after Brexit

    14th October 2019 by

    Scotland does not want to leave the EU but there is a strong risk that we may end up leaving without a deal in place on 31st October 2019. While the Scottish Government is doing as much as it can to mitigate the impact of leaving the EU, we cannot mitigate for every impact. Leaving the EU will mean things we currently take for granted, or which we agreed to as part of a Member State, will no longer stand. This note sets out what you need to do to ensure your food and drink business can continue to import/export…

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  • Avian Flu – Top Tips

    7th October 2019 by

    Although there is a constant risk of avian flu in the UK, with Autumn now here, there is an increased likelihood of avian influenza appearing. For those who aren’t aware, avian influenza (more commonly known as bird flu) is a highly contagious disease of birds. It can have serious impacts on bird health and welfare, and can potentially lead to bird fatalities. In extremely serious cases it can affect the health of humans and other mammals. So how can bird flu be introduced to the UK? The most common way is if birds come in to direct or indirect contact…

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  • Rural Scotland and the Programme for Government

    12th September 2019 by

    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…

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  • Farm Advisory Service

    11th September 2019 by

    A survey published today has shown that 90% of farmers and crofters have implemented advice given to them through the Farm Advisory Service. But what is the Farm Advisory Service and how can it help you?

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