The Scottish Government is committed to realising our Vision for Agriculture and transforming how we support farming and food production in Scotland to become a global leader in sustainable and regenerative agriculture.
I would like to thank the Agricultural Reform Implementation Oversight Board (ARIOB) in supporting and informing the development of this consultation on the proposals for a new Agriculture Bill. Since our first meeting the ARIOB has proved to be invaluable in informing our clear commitment to support farmers and crofters to produce our food more sustainably while ensuring that agriculture plays its part in cutting emissions, mitigating climate change and restoring and enhancing nature.
Recent years have seen a series of global shocks that have had, and are continuing to have, an impact on global food security. These include EU-exit impacts, the COVID-19 pandemic and, most recently, the illegal invasion of Ukraine which is having an undeniable impact on global agriculture and upon all aspects of our domestic food and drink supply chain. This has highlighted the requirement for the new Agriculture Bill to be adaptive in supporting farmers, crofter and land managers in the near, medium and long term future and the proposals outlined below reflect this.
While we deal with the short-term challenges, we need to keep an eye to the long-term and the action needed now to ensure we have a healthy environment and thriving communities for years to come. We are committed to tackling the climate and biodiversity crises and reaching Net Zero by 2045. Our agricultural sector has an indispensable role to play as we address these challenges and we will continue to support these efforts.
Scotland's farmers, crofters and land-managers are vital to our ambition to make our nation fairer and greener. We should not shy away from being clear that we are on a journey of significant transformation. I urge everyone to take the opportunity to share your views and engage with this process, and please encourage everyone you know to take part as well. I know many of you will have contributed to the Agricultural transition consultation we ran previously, and this consultation builds on those responses. Your responses to this consultation will give us tremendous insight into how best to realise our Vision for Agriculture in a way that works for our rural communities.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands
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