Rural support features at event
THE future of agriculture and rural development support, post-2020, has been discussed as a special round-table event in Edinburgh.
Organised by Scottish Land and Estates and Scottish Environment Link, a range of stakeholders – including the Scottish Government and organisations representing farming, land management, rural economy, environmental protection, forestry and landscape interests – attended the meeting.
The event was aimed at ‘having an open and honest conversation on the various perspectives with a view to identifying common themes and differences’.
Consultant agricultural economist Andrew Moxey set the scene by outlining why Brexit matters for the rural land-based economy as well as detailing other factors which would lead to changes to rural support being required anyway. Dr Moxey also set out where various major stakeholders are positioning themselves in the ongoing debate.
Anne Gray, senior policy officer (land use and environment), said: ‘We were pleased, alongside Scottish Environment Link, to organise what we hope will be the first of many round-table events to discuss rural support in Scotland after Brexit.
‘Each organisation is formulating its own thoughts on what it wants to see rural Scotland deliver after Brexit and that obviously means there are different starting points for each stakeholder. The nature of the event allowed honest discussion to take place and establish where there are clear differences and where there is consensus that can be built upon moving forward.’
Pete Ritchie, from Scottish Environment Link, said: ‘Everybody knows the CAP is no longer fit for purpose - or sure of its purpose - but designing something for the post-2020 world which works better than the CAP for Scotland’s land, health, nature and rural economy is harder than it looks.
‘It has been very helpful to bring a wide range of stakeholders together to start that conversation. Link looks forward to continuing the conversation, building on common ground and exploring differences respectfully. Thanks to all who took part.’