Agricultural transition in Scotland

Closed 17 Nov 2021

Opened 25 Aug 2021


Following on from the period of simplicity and stability we are moving forward to put in place a successor to the Common Agriculture Policy that will guide farming, food production and land use for many years to come. 

Our approach will support farmers and crofters to ensure their economic sustainability as we deal with the twin global emergencies of climate change and biodiversity whilst also continuing to produce high quality food. Reforming our approach to land use and management will be core to delivering all the requirements set by Parliament for Scotland’s efforts to reach Net Zero.

Whilst change is needed it needs to be fair and equitable and set out in the terms of a Just Transition that ensures a sustainable future for a reformed agriculture sector. It needs to be open to the opportunities to adopt new approach to policies for agriculture and food production and realise our collective desire to ensure Scottish policy, regulatory and funding frameworks will enable investment in rural businesses and rural communities. This will enable them to lower emissions from production, be profitable, efficient and productive whilst playing their part as land managers to tackle climate change and enhance biodiversity.

To help deliver a new successful framework a number of Farmer Led Groups, that covered the suckler beef, arable, dairy and pig sectors as well as the hill, upland farming and crofting sectors (including the sheep sector), were established at various points between Spring 2020 and December 2020 to recommend ways farmers and crofters could consider the effects of land use change and cut their emissions to help tackle climate change.

Why your views matter

Read the consultation paper. 

Our consultation paper provides an overview of the key themes and recommendations emerging from the Farmer Led Group process.  The paper also sets out a number of key questions on the groups recommendations which are intended to inform wider work on the development of agricultural policy and in particular the replacement to CAP.

It forms part of a fully participative model that will gather responses to published papers and through workshops that will be facilitated towards stimulating further ideas over the coming months.

We will then report on this participative model of consultation, to contextualise it towards deliverability, and to seek insight and guidance from the Agriculture Reform Implementation Oversight Board” (ARIOB) who will offer oversight of our thinking and provide an advisory role directly to the Cabinet Secretary.

A key role of the ARIOB will be to challenge the Scottish Government to ensure that the future shape of support lives up to our vision, is truly capable of bringing about the change that is needed and does so in a user-centred way that recognises the need to have a Just Transition towards a Green Economy.

This ARIOB will support and inform the development of the Statutory Consultation that we will seek to publish in 2022 and that will set-out our full rationale and proposals for a future Agriculture Bill.


  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Farming and Rural