NFU Scotland is calling for the publication of an important report into Greening in Scotland, ahead of the Union’s annual conference in Glasgow in February 2018.
The announcement that Professor Russell Grigg was to lead a group looking at Greening was made at the NFU Scotland conference in February 2017.
Publication of the Grigg’s Group report would enable further work to be done on what future support for arable farming might look like post-Brexit when the Scottish Government can determine its own agricultural policy. The Grigg’s Greening Group Report, along with the work of the Agricultural Champions, is important in ensuring that Scotland has the correct policies to deliver a profitable, sustainable and environmentally friendly future for the agriculture industry.
A recent meeting of NFU Scotland’s Combinable Crops Committee considered what future support for arable farming might look like once the UK leaves the European Union and the current EU Basic Payment Scheme ends and is replaced by a Scottish Government Scheme. To aid that debate, there was a strong call for the Russell Grigg’s Greening Group Report to be made available.
Committee Chairman Ian Sands said: “Protection of the environment will continue to be important post Brexit. Instead of a ‘one size fits all’ policy, Scottish Government will have the opportunity to target measures that are more appropriate to Scotland.
“This was something that both we and the Scottish Government pushed for during the negotiation of the last round of Common Agricultural Policy reforms. We didn’t get it and instead ended up with a highly complex package that has satisfied no one.
“NFUS wants to see farmers rewarded for existing good environmental standards that protect Scotland’s countryside. That should include payment for measures that go beyond good farming practice, set at a level that encourages uptake.
“It is vital that Scottish farmers can continue to be competitive in growing crops that form the raw material for so much of Scotland’s food, drink and feed exports. What we are lacking, however, is information on what the real environmental needs are.
“NFUS members have assisted that process by hosting farm visits by Professor Grigg’s Group earlier this year but, nearing the end of 2017, we are still waiting to see the group’s views.
“It would be very helpful if the report was available to industry and other stakeholders by the time of the Union’s conference in Glasgow in February – exactly a year after the initial announcement on the group’s formation.” Ends