RSPB welcomes launch of farming working group


The RSPB has welcomed the announcement by Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Rural Economy Secretary, that a new group has been formed to develop policy on farming and food production. The group, consisting of producers, consumers and environmental organisations, will structure the future policy on farming and food production, in light of climate change and a future outside the European Union.

In the UK, Corncrake is reliant on low-intensity Scottish crofts (Martyn Jones).

The policy developed by the group will be based on six key themes, chiefly sustainability, simplicity, profitability, innovation, inclusion and productivity. Anne McCall, director of RSPB Scotland, said: "I am delighted to accept this invitation to join the Farming and Food Production Group (FFPG), which will explore and make recommendations on future farming and food production policy.

"This is a critical time as we are currently experiencing both a climate emergency and a biodiversity crisis. How we farm and produce our food in the future will be a vitally important part of the solution to addressing both of these.

"This work is urgent and I look forward to collaborating with others to generate the best ideas and proposals we can. It is critical that we get the right policies in place to support farmers and land managers in ways that help our climate and wildlife at the same times as enabling the production of Scottish quality food."

Fergus Ewing, who made the announcement at the Royal Highland Show, added: "Scotland's landscape and climate provide us with an unrivalled natural larder. We need to develop policies which support both – to ensure that our status as a high-quality producer of food is maintained and grows."