Agriculture Reform Implementation Oversight Board communique: 3 November 2022

Communique following the meeting of the group on 3 November 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Mairi Gougeon Cabinet Secretary Rural Affairs and Islands
  • Martin Kennedy

Items and actions

The Agriculture Reform Implementation Oversight Board (ARIOB) held an in person meeting in Dundee on 3 November which allowed for in-depth discussion on a range of topics including:

Ways of working

Acting on feedback from ARIOB, we discussed how to make meetings more productive and how to improve communication to the industry.

Prioritisation and timeline of agri policy development and implementation

An idea of the timeline was presented and members expressed their strong view that we should be able to make faster progress. However, officials set out the resource and legal constraints which the board acknowledged. The proposed prioritisation of the enhanced payment mechanism was discussed and that principle of early action to help the industry tackle the climate and nature crises was recognised. Members of the board pressed for those actions that could be taken sooner to happen now with a clear steer for the industry, through better communication, on what activities might be productive and beneficial.


We discussed what amendments to current activity requirements might be appropriate post-2025, and the practical and logistical challenges when attempting to align with a more conditional support payment system. The board sought more evidence on this topic.

Enhanced payments: future enhanced payment methodology

The Board discussed eligibility, payment calculations and whole farm plans, and how businesses might demonstrate delivery against enhanced requirements. This was seen as a good starting point for this subject on which the board would build in future discussions.

Enhanced payments: list of measures and next steps under testing actions for sustainable farming

An outline of the next steps following the successful launch of the testing for sustainable farming questionnaire was shared and the Board discussed how to maximise effectiveness of these. The Board also discussed a revised list of scaled measures, this further distillation of the foregoing work was welcomed by the board. The board looked forward to the further refinement that will be undertaken as a result of that discussion through the next phase of TSF. Board members were invited to submit specific comments on the measures by correspondence.


The ARIOB discussed further development work to be taken forward by the Academic Advisory Panel and Policy Development Group, to inform future discussion at ARIOB.

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