The Scottish Government has a number of decisions to make on implementation of the recently reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in Scotland. The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment is due to announce his decisions to Parliament on Wednesday, 11 June 2014. This briefing summarises Scottish Environment LINK’s views on what must be included in the package of CAP measures if Scottish farming is to become more sustainable and environmental targets for biodiversity, water quality and climate change are to be met.
LINK believes the CAP serves a much wider purpose beyond maintaining food production. Agricultural land management has a vital role to play in maintaining the rural landscape, combating biodiversity loss, improving water quality and helping to mitigate against and adapt to climate change, as well as maintaining viable rural communities. Both Pillar I (direct payments) and Pillar II (Scotland Rural Development Programme) must play their part in this.