Our industry, our plan – Scottish farmers lay down the law on carbon reduction – The Scottish Farmer

CIVIL SERVANTS and politicians returning to work after the Scottish Elections are to be presented with a ready-made plan for the future of the country’s farm policy.

Frustrated by the frosty reception given to the work of the various ‘Farmer-Led Groups’ charged with charting a low-carbon course for Scottish agriculture, NFU Scotland this week appointed its own crack team to bring that body of work together into ‘one coherent single farm plan’.

The idea is to create a farm policy proposal that the entirety of Scottish farming will unite behind – and if any civil servants dare repeat the suggestion that the best route to carbon-cutting would be a mass cull of livestock, the industry will be in a strong position to say a firm ‘no’, and offer their own less apocalyptic solution to the carbon challenge.

NFUS chief executive, Scott Walker, said: “When faced with a massive challenge such as climate change, working together on a solution is the best and only way forward.

“Who, in any government, would not want those tasked with all the heavy lifting to take the lead and also take any flak, for the difficult changes that will be needed?” he asked.

“ScotGov’s farmer-led groups were set up to identify a pathway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our industry. They have set a direction that will deliver on Climate Change mitigation, environmental enhancement and maintain farming’s fundamental role of food production.

“That is good for Scottish agriculture and all that it underpins, including jobs, incomes and the economy in Scotland. There was a clear, consistent way forward set and in the case of the suckler beef group, after being given a remit to get a scheme ready to go, it was scuppered at the last minute.

“Proposals from within ScotGov that the way to tackle climate change in agriculture is to cut cow numbers by 300,000 are not just overly simplistic but categorically wrong, a disastrous decision and wholly unacceptable to our industry,” he stressed. “Such an argument shows a lack of vision, ambition and understanding of the interdependency between agricultural sectors.

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