Agriculture Reform Implementation Oversight Board communique: 3 February 2023

Communique following the meeting of the group on 3 February 2023.

Attendees and apologies


  • Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary Rural Affairs and Islands
  • Martin Kennedy, President, National Farmers Union

Items and actions

Developing the Future Support Framework    

Officials shared an updated version of the Framework and tiers for discussion as part of the iterative co-development process and utilising feedback previously provided by the Agriculture Reform Implementation Oversight Board (ARIOB).

Route map 

ARIOB members are supporting the development of an overarching route map to provide a clear timeline for change so that farmers and crofters will know when they can expect key decisions, guidance, information, and support to help them plan for the future.  

Communicating the route map, list of measures and update on animal health and welfare measures

ARIOB has been discussing publishing these three things to provide a clear timeline for change, visibility on potential measures and support for farmers now to prepare for the future. ARIOB members have been helping to refine these proposals, discussing the list of measures, providing feedback on the route map and developing the animal health and welfare measures.

Conditionality in existing schemes    

Further to feedback from members in relation to the need to examine whether there was potential flexibility in existing schemes to introduce early conditionality, Steven Thomson (SRUC), Andrew Moxey (Pareto Consulting) and Keith Matthews (JHI) presented some conceptual thinking around enhancing conditionality, calving intervals, and protection of peatland and wetlands.  

Disadvantaged Payments sub-group

A mixed working group, including members from the ARIOB, Policy Development Group and the Academic Advisory Panel, have been meeting to consider how to address the issue of payments for farmers in less favoured or disadvantage areas should be addressed in future. The ARIOB heard an update on this work, and noted that it was an ongoing process.

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