Scottish Agricultural Census - News, guidance and sample forms

Guidance and updates around the Scottish Agricultural Census.

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June Agricultural Census 2023 – Privacy Notice 

Under Article 6(1)(c) of the General Data Protection Regulations, we are notifying you that the Scottish Government is collecting and processing this data as it is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation. 

It is a legal requirement to supply the requested information under the Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Act 2020. 

How we will store your data  

We will hold all of the data confidentially on a secure server and in line with data protection legislation. We will store the data for as long as the information is required for statistical analysis, this will be reviewed every year.

What we will do with your data 

We use this data to create statistics on agriculture in Scotland. The Scottish Government will use these statistics to develop and tailor policies to support the agricultural sector. They are also used to estimate the economic value of the sector, and to contribute to the overall calculations of GDP and economic output of the Scottish and UK economy.

Other uses of the data include: 

  • modelling scenarios for issues where contingency planning is required, such as potential disease outbreaks or changes in economic conditions and support payments 
  • providing information to estimate environmental impact, such as for the UK ammonia and greenhouse gas inventories 
  • providing statistics to the OECD and the United Nations to meet Scottish Government international legislative requirements 

The Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Act 2020 Sections 13 - 18 and the lawful basis of ‘public task’ under Article 6(1)(e) of UK GDPR allows us to process and share this data with authorised research institutes, universities and other government agencies, for research purposes. We routinely provide this data to Scotland’s Rural College and The James Hutton Institute to undertake work under the Scottish Government’s Strategic Research Programme. With each request to share information, we review the arrangements that the receiving body must securely hold the data, and the purposes of the research. There are strict criteria used to ensure acceptable conditions are met before we share data.

If we do share the data, it is done so under data sharing agreements which include strict confidentiality restrictions covering how the data is securely stored, limiting access to only people who require it, ensuring that data is deleted after use and that no publications identify individuals or individual businesses.

In all of these cases your data will be combined with others responding to this census before publication of results so that your individual business cannot be identified.

Occasionally, we will use your individual record data for identifying farms or businesses which either hold livestock or grow crops. This is for the purposes of ensuring public, animal and plant health, or as part of legal or planning proceedings in accordance with the Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Act 2020 Section 17.


You can complain about the way your data has been handled during this Survey through the Scottish Government Data Protection Team ( You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office. You can contact them via email at 

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