Scotland’s rural economy is bursting with talent and potential. It is not just crucial to Scotland’s national brand, it is crucial to our national prosperity.
With independence, we would advocate rejoining the EU and therefore return to CAP where we will play our full part as a small nation with huge natural capital and resources to contribute to making farming more sustainable.
We will therefore stay broadly aligned with new EU measures and policy developments, like the Farm to Fork Strategy, while transforming how we support farming and food production in Scotland.
We remain committed to supporting active farming and food production with direct payments.
By 2025, however, we will shift half of all funding for farming and crofting from unconditional to conditional support and there will be targeted outcomes for biodiversity gain and a drive towards low carbon approaches which improve resilience, efficiency and profitability.
We will double the amount of land used for organic farming – and double the amount of organic produce that comes from Scotland, with a focus on more of it being used in public sector food procurement.
We need more young people and women to want to be farmers and land managers, but the role is changing.
We will therefore undertake a root and branch review of land based education – from early years to adulthood – to provide opportunities and qualifications through school, college, university and apprenticeships for more people, and specifically more women, to work with and on the land, particularly in green skills.
We will provide more support for women in agriculture and for new and young entrants into farming, including a specific new entrants fund.