Rural and Environment

  • Letter on distillery co-products

    3rd June 2020 by

    The bioenergy, agriculture and Scotch Whisky sectors are being consulted on how to ensure a fairer market for distillery co-products used in livestock feed in Scotland. Distillery co-products are an important source of protein and fibre when used for livestock feed, but the amount used in Scotland has decreased in recent years as prices have…

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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 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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  • 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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  • This week: 03/05/19

    3rd May 2019 by

    New Climate Change proposals Scotland will go greener, faster under new, tougher climate change proposals. The Scottish Government has lodged amendments to the Climate Change Bill to set a legally binding target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 at the latest. Read more on the latest climate change proposals  South of Scotland Economic Partnership…

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  • This week: 29/3/19

    29th March 2019 by

    South of Scotland Enterprise debate Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing led the debate in parliament, the aim of which was to agree to the general principles of the South of Scotland Enterprise Bill. South of Scotland Enterprise has been established to take a fresh approach to the enterprise and skills needs of the South and drive inclusive…

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  • This week: 01/03/19

    1st March 2019 by

    Beavers given protected status The Eurasian or European beaver will be added to the list of European Protected Species of Animals, protected under Scottish law. This means that from 1 May 2019 shooting will only be allowed under licence, which will be managed by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). All licenses will be issued in accordance…

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  • In the news: EAT-Lancet Report

    17th January 2019 by

    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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  • Weekly round-up: 11/01/19

    11th January 2019 by

    Addressing animal welfare issues this week at Parliament, Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon announced that CCTV will now become a legal requirement in slaughterhouses across Scotland. Read more           Hill farmers and crofters in Scotland’s most remote areas will continue to receive assistance under the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS)…

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  • Weekly round-up: 23/11

    23rd November 2018 by

    Crown Estate Bill passed   Local authorities and communities will have a stronger voice in the management of the Crown Estate Scotland assets, as Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham confirms the passing of the Scottish Crown Estate Bill Read more Nuffield Farm Conference  In his welcome to the 2018 Nuffield Farming Conference, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus…

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