Scottish Agriculture Bill

A field with a fence in the foreground and cows behind

The Scottish Government has published a consultation on proposals for the Agricultural Bill, which will be introduced to parliament in 2023.

This Bill will outline the overarching framework for future Scottish agricultural policy from which future legislation will be derived including details on the delivery of farm support schemes. The proposal summarizes how the Government proposes to create a sustainable and adaptable agricultural sector, meeting its objectives for climate change and high quality food production whilst balancing the need for nature restoration and wider rural development.

The key proposals outlined in the consultation include:

  • A new four-tier system for farm payments, of which two tiers will be non-competitive with basic eligibility criteria. The second two tiers will be competitive, (meaning you will need to apply and the applications are then ranked), with eligibility criteria focused on delivering targeted nature restoration, area specific support for beef and sheep sectors and providing advisory services.
  • The Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (KTIF) will provide financial support to promote skills development focused on agriculture/crofting and eligible innovation projects.
  • Modernising Agricultural Tenancy legislation to support diversification benefiting biodiversity and mitigating climate change
  • Application of Fair Work conditions to all agricultural workers including receipt of the real Living Wage.

What can a business do now?

The consultation is open to the public and provides personnel within the agricultural and food sector the opportunity to shape future policy. We would encourage everyone to respond to the consultation which can be accessed through the government website. The deadline for responses is the 21st November 2022 and the consultation response can be submitted online through the consultation website 


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