Scotland voted overwhelming to remain in the EU and as we say here, Remain means Remain. 85% of Scotland’s land is classified as less favoured area and 20% of all farming income comes from EU subsidy. Being forcibly dragged out of Europe against our will and finding ourselves suddenly dependent on Defra is a potentially life-threatening situation for farming in Scotland – so we are understandably terrified.
But whilst we live in worrying times, politically there have been some significant improvements in the role of agriculture in Scottish civic life. The Good Food Nation Bill aims to bring together food, farming, health and climate change. The Scottish Government has world-leading climate change and food waste reduction targets, both of which give organic and agroecological farming systems a key role to play.
Organisations like Nourish Scotland are campaigning for the right to food to be enshrined in Scots law and this, together with the land reform, community empowerment and ending child poverty agendas all potentially support the development of citizenship agriculture. So we also live in exciting time. In her presentation, Heather highlights some key strategies for positive change as we endeavour to draft a Citizen’s Agricultural Policy for Scotland.