Suckler Beef Climate Group

Overview

The Scottish Government has committed to take action on climate change with legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  It also has committed to contributing towards biodiversity targets.  It is important that agricultural businesses are supported to improve their environmental performance, whilst producing quality food for the Scottish Food and Drink Sector.  

The formation of the Group was announced on Wednesday 12 February  2020, by the Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy. 

This is a short-life, industry led Group with members taken from across the beef sector in Scotland. 

The Group will consider proposals that will assist in the reduction greenhouse gas emissions.  In particular the group is to consider how to make the production of beef in Scotland more sustainable through:

  • improving  efficiency, productivity and profitability of beef produced from the suckler herd and the wider beef sector in in Scotland
  • enhancing the environmental contribution from the sector through identification of practical ways in which the greenhouse gas emissions of the beef sector can be reduced
  • mitigating other environmental impacts of production and enhancing contribution to sustainable land use, especially soil health and grassland management and other on-farm habitats

The Group has also been asked to recommend how best such actions and activity might be supported financially and practically. Specific actions  that the Group might examine in the course of its work include, but are not limited to:

  • production based improvements focussed on:
    • feeding
    • breeding
    • efficiency
    • health improvements
  • potential for capital investment improvements
  • impacts on running costs
  • grassland management including:
    • fertiliser use
    • soil improvement and health
    • grass mixtures
    • slurry and manure management soil improvement
    • Carbon Audits and actions
    • liming
  • restoration and improving habitats on-farm

The Group will bring forward practical recommendations that will assist in the beef sector in playing it’s part in meeting the Scottish Government’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

Call for evidence

The Group is keen to receive and consider any peer-reviewed evidence or other information on innovative technologies or practices that may aid their deliberations and underpin their recommendations for future support for the industry. 

Evidence should be sent by e-mail to Julie Brown or by post to the address listed in the contacts section, by Monday 9 March 2020.

Members

  • Robert Fleming                      
  • Debbie McGowan                  
  • Alistair Davidson                    
  • Bruce MacConachie              
  • James Young                         
  • John Struthers                       
  • Hazel McNee
  • Claire Simonetta
  • Iain Livesey
  • Sophie Watt

Documents