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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  • 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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  • 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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  • In the News: £160 million returned to Scotland

    5th September 2019 by

    You will have seen in the news that in yesterday’s Spending Round statement at Westminster, that the Chancellor finally confirmed that the UK Government would right a historic injustice around EU farm payments. In 2013, the EU announced moves to pay Common Agricultural Policy payments more fairly, on the basis of average Euros per hectare. The UK received what was known as a convergence uplift only because of Scotland.

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  • This week: Clean energy, South of Scotland funding and Crown Estate consultation

    30th August 2019 by

    £1 million funding for South of Scotland Enterprise Projects to develop rural skills, community enterprises and female-led businesses are the latest recipients of more than £1 million from the South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SOSEP). The Partnership has awarded a total of £1,045,184 to five projects, including an initiative to improve Galashiels Town Centre and...

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  • In the news: landing obligations

    16th July 2019 by

    You may have seen in the news and online reports relating to a House of Lords inquiry that found fishermen are continuing to illegally discard dead fish back into the sea.

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