By Scottish Tenant Farmers Association managing director, Doug Bell

With a new Scottish Agriculture Bill planned for the following year, 2022 will provide the test bed for new policy and legislation for Scotland’s farming industry. There is much at stake. In short, there is an opportunity to steer our industry onto a path which effectively sets the template for a successful and sustainable future for the next generation of Scottish farmers.

Profitable food production, addressing climate change and helping reverse biodiversity loss are the three main drivers influencing farming’s future. Getting the balance right between these three pillars will be key and will require a holistic policy framework which recognises the importance and interdependency of all three if we are to see a truly ‘just transition’.

Accounting for almost a quarter of Scottish farmland, the tenanted sector can play a significant role in farming’s transition to net zero and delivery of wider environmental gain, while at the same time, contributing to the Ambition 2030 calls for increased production of sustainable food. To that end, one of STFA’s main priorities for the New Year will be to ensure that any policies planned for inclusion in the new Agriculture Bill are appropriate and practicable for tenants.