Farming and Food Production Future Policy Group


On the 10 January 2019 Parliament agreed to “establish a stakeholder group involving representatives from producers, consumers and environmental organisations to help government thinking through challenges faced by farmers and crofter and how  policies might be adapted to help”.


The Group will explore and make recommendations on future farming and food production policy built around the six principles set out in the January debate with a view to making clear recommendations for future policy development for Farming and Food Production in the course of 2020. The themes were:

  • sustainability
  • simplicity
  • profitability
  • innovation
  • inclusion
  • productivity

A phased approach is being considered with an initial focus on reviewing the evidence base, the policy recommendations and the practical suggestions made by the NCRA, Agriculture Champions, Greening Group and Simplification Task Force. Together with policy proposals published by a range of stakeholder organisations.

The intention is both to seek advice and ideas from the group but also to use it to test the Government’s own ideas and emerging proposals.

In taking forward their work the group will be asked to consider what types and approaches to farming are viable in Scotland (considering both intensive and extensive systems) based on current markets and future markets and to highlight the challenges existing farmers and crofters face in being able to adapt to these opportunities.

Recommendations made by the group will take into account both geographic variation across Scotland and the size of units required for viability. 

While intending to focus sharply on practical suggestions that can support farming and food production, looking across the supply chain, the group will also need to take on board wider policy priorities such as:

  • global climate emergency and moving to net zero emissions faster
  • maintaining populations in rural areas
  • inclusive growth
  • low carbon economy
  • global, outward looking nation
  • tackling poverty and inequality


  • Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism (Chair)
  • Andrew Scott, Director for Strategic Land Use and Rural Policy, Scottish Government
  • Fiona Harrison, Deputy Director for Land Use and Land Reform, Scottish Government
  • John Kerr, Head of Agricultural Policy, Scottish Government
  • George Burgess, Deputy Director for Food and Drink, Scottish Government
  • Catriona Maclean, Deputy Director for Rural Economy and Communities, Scottish Government
  • Martin Kennedy, National Farmers Union Scotland
  • Sarah Millar, Quality Meat Scotland
  • Lucy Husband, Scotland Food and Drink
  • Marion McCormick, Former Aldi Executive
  • Robbie Galloway, Scotbeef
  • Aoife Behan, Soil Association
  • Anne McCall, RSPB Scotland
  • Deborah Long, Scottish Environment Link
  • Ian Muirhead, Agricultural Industries Confederation
  • Joyce Campbell, Sheep farmer, Entrepreneur
  • James Graham, Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society
  • Robert Graham, Grahams Family Dairy Group
  • Hugh Campbell-Adamson, Stracathro Estates
  • Alison Milne, Demperston farm
  • Lochy Porter, Angus Soft Fruits