Agriculture and Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill

The Agriculture and Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill will put forward, through primary legislation, a suite of proposals and powers that Scottish Ministers consider they require in order to achieve Scotland’s vision for agriculture, transforming how we support farming and food production in Scotland to become a global leader in sustainable and regenerative agriculture. In this context, the proposals and powers pave the way for delivery on four outcomes: 

  • high quality food production;
  • climate mitigation and adaptation;
  • nature restoration; and
  • wider rural development.

If the Bill is passed as introduced, Scottish Ministers will be required to prepare a five year Rural Support Plan. This plan will include details of farming, forestry, and rural development support. The Bill gives Scottish Ministers the power to form a new support framework and provide financial and other assistance. The framework would be brought into law by secondary legislation.

This Bill also makes changes to the Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Act 2020. It allows Scottish Ministers to change, extend or end Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) legislation as it applies in Scotland.

The Bill would also allow the Scottish Government to introduce training requirements for farmers and other workers. The regulation of animal identification is also updated.

Theona Morrison gives evidence
Theona, our chair, gives evidence to the Rural Affairs and Islands Committee in January 2024

Image of people on a tractor in a green arable field
Our Response to the Agriculture Bill in December 2022

Arable fields in southern Scotland
Our Response to the Enquiry on the Agriculture and Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill in November 2023