Scotland’s Food Waste Reduction Target
The Food Waste Reduction Action Plan (FWRAP), published in April 2019, sets out the Scottish Government's proposals to meet the target of reducing all food waste in Scotland by 33% by 2025, against a 2013 baseline. The Plan also outlined plans to consult on seeking legal powers for a mandatory Food Waste Reduction Target by the end of 2019.
The FWRAP makes connections to EU, UK and Scottish activities in place which tackle food waste. It also connects with other Scottish Government policies and commitments in respect of food and waste generation, including the Climate Change Plan, Circular Economy Strategy and Good Food Nation.
We will continue to embed circular economy principles into the wider green recovery and take steps to reduce food waste through the FWRAP, delivering against our ambitious target to reduce food waste by 33% by 2025. The planned consultation on the range of commitments identified in the Food Waste Reduction Action Plan has been delayed by a number of factors, including the recent Covid-19 crisis.
We will publish a review of the FWRAP in 2022 to assess the progress towards the 33% reduction target and to identify any additional measures which may be needed to achieve it. The review will connect with other Scottish Government commitments in respect of food waste and generation, including the upcoming Good Food Nation Bill.
In addition, we are developing a Routemap to deliver our wider 2025 waste and recycling targets which will inform the development of the new Circular Economy Bill and there will also be further engagement and consultation to shape the Bill’s contents. Considering the status of our existing food waste target is part of this Routemap work.
Food waste data
Targeted work is ongoing to gauge levels of food waste and surplus across Scotland, the UK and Europe. The Food Waste Reduction Action Plan and the Programme for Government commit the Scottish Government to explore opportunities to place requirements on businesses to publicly report on their waste and surplus, specifically in regard to food and textiles. This would ensure more data on food waste and surplus is available.
When we consulted on legislative proposals in 2019, the majority of respondents were in favour of the proposal regarding mandatory reporting of waste and surplus and, on that basis, are continuing to explore.
The Programme for Government outlines our commitment to introducing a Circular Economy Bill this Parliamentary session. A decision on the timing of a Bill will be taken by Cabinet in the context of setting the content of future legislative programmes.
Scottish Rural Development Programme
The Scottish Rural Development Programme aims to help achieve sustainable economic growth through: enhancing the rural economy, supporting agricultural and forestry businesses, protecting and improving the natural environment, addressing the impact of climate change and supporting rural communities.
The powers of the Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Act 2020 have been used to enable the continued operation of current CAP schemes and policies from 1 January 2021 and delivers on our commitment to Stability and Simplicity.
A total of £243 million has been committed through the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme since 2015 to maintain and enhance our rich and varied natural environment. 506 AECS Organics contracts have been approved, with £29.1 million committed to support organic farming. In addition, support is provided though the Farm Advisory Service and the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund to enable farmers and land managers to protect and enhance our environment.
Rural Funding Transition Period
The Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Act 2020 (“the 2020 Act”) was unanimously passed by the last Scottish Parliament to “enable the continued operation of current CAP schemes and policies” from 2021. This delivers on our commitment to support the rural economy with Stability and Simplicity until 2025. The limited powers of the 2020 Act precludes substantive change until a new Scottish Agriculture Bill is introduced.
The work of the Farming and Food Production Future Policy Group concluded. Five sector-specific Farmer-led Groups were established to provide advice and proposals on action key agricultural sectors should take to cut emissions and tackle climate change – and how government might support them to do that. The groups published reports in March 2021.
The Agriculture Reform Implementation Oversight Board was established as a 100 day commitment to drive forward the work of the farmer-led groups and our commitment to work with the sector to achieve our world-leading emissions targets, support biodiversity, ensure a just transition and make early progress in delivering emissions reductions. The Board will be asked to contribute to our work to implement policy reform, incorporating the relevant recommendations of the farmer-led groups, to cut emissions across agriculture, support the production of sustainable, high quality food, and design a new support system and approach.
In order to ensure everyone had the opportunity to played their part in shaping the future of farming, food production and land use in Scotland, we published a consultation that built upon the recommendations from the farmer-led groups. The consultation, “Agricultural Transition in Scotland: first steps towards our national policy”, closed on the 17 November 2021 and set out a number of key questions on the recommendations which will inform wider work on the development of agricultural policy and the replacement to CAP.
A new Scottish Agriculture Bill will be brought forward in 2023 to provide a replacement for the CAP. We remain committed to supporting active farming and food production with direct payments, however by 2025 we will shift half of all funding for farming and crofting from unconditional to conditional support.
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