Dairy Sector Climate Change Group: report

Report from the Dairy Sector Climate Change Group, one of the farmer-led groups established to develop advice and proposals for the Scottish Government. It focusses on how to cut emissions and tackle climate change, something that was re-emphasised in the updated Climate Change Plan.

2. Scope of the Report

This report was produced by the Scottish Dairy Sector Climate Change Group (DSCCG), which was appointed by the Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing in January 2021, one of five sectoral farmer-led groups. The Group consisted of twelve dairy farmers with a breadth of farming systems, scale and location across Scotland.

The DSCCG was tasked with considering and making recommendations in relation to practical measures as well as support mechanisms to help achieve:

  • improved efficiency, productivity and profitability for the dairy sector in Scotland,
  • enhanced environmental contribution from the sector through identification of practical ways in which net greenhouse gas emissions from the dairy sector can be reduced,
  • mitigation of other environmental impacts of production and enhancing contribution to sustainable agriculture and land use including fertility, breeding and genetics and animal nutrition as well as soil health and grass land management.

The full scope, remit and membership of the DSCCG is set out in Annex 1 to this Report.

The Group held a number of meetings (virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions) and heard evidence from a number of experts in the fields of dairying, wider agriculture and climate change including government, industry leaders and academics. A full list of those who contributed to the Group are listed in Annex 2. We also issued two calls for evidence using Survey Monkey; one to farmers and the other processors. Both had a very tight deadline but we nevertheless had a very positive response to the farmer survey (almost 120 responses). The Farmer Survey Responses are summarised in Annex 3.

Due to time constraints the Group did not commission any new research but it did undertake a review of as much of the available, relevant research as was possible in the time given.

The Group has also interacted with the other farmer-led groups via a number of meetings of the group Chairs which has enabled the Group to keep appraised of the progress of the other groups and their general direction of travel. A great deal of commonality and overlap exists between the groups.


Email: are.futureruralframework@gov.scot

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