Environmental campaigners gathered outside the Scottish parliament today to call on the Scottish government to fund farmers and crofters to produce food in ways that help restore nature and tackle climate change.
The Farm for Scotland’s Future campaign is calling for at least three quarters of public spending on agriculture to support nature and climate friendly farming methods. The campaign is backed by more than 40 organisations including the RSPB, the Soil Association, the Woodland Trust, Buglife and Action to Protect Rural Scotland.
At present, the majority of funding is paid to farmers based on how much and what type of land they farm – a system that disproportionately benefits large landowners and does little to address farming’s environmental impact.
The Scottish government has published an Agriculture and Rural Communities Bill and is expected to make an announcement next month on how it plans to distribute money under the new farm funding system that the bill will put in place.
Deborah Long, chief officer of Scottish Environment LINK which coordinates the Farm for Scotland’s Future campaign, said:
“Farmers and crofters have a key role to play in restoring Scotland’s amazing nature and helping to tackle the climate crisis while producing food. It’s in everyone’s interest that farmers and crofters are enabled to help meet these huge challenges, and it’s essential that they get the support they need to do this vital work.”