Increase organic farming
The Scottish Government should set a target of at least 10% of land to be farmed organically by 2030.
Organic farming generates fewer emissions per hectare (and in many cases fewer emissions per kg of product) while having proven benefits for soil carbon and biodiversity. Organic certification also requires a high standard of animal welfare. Farmers usually receive a premium for organic produce, and the organic market is growing within the UK and globally.
The EU has set a target of 25% of land to be farmed organically by 2030. The Bute House agreement already calls for the organic farmed area in Scotland to at least double by 2026. However, even if this is achieved it will only mean Scotland has 4% of land farmed organically.
As well as investing in conversion and maintenance payments and specialist advice, the Scottish Government should boost the domestic organic market through an ambitious target for organic food in public procurement and invest more heavily in organic farming research and training. These measures should be part of a national Organic Action Plan.
For further information:
- Scottish Organic Stakeholders Group, https://organicstakeholders.scot
- EU organic action plan, https://agriculture.ec.europa.eu/farming/organic-farming/organic-action-plan_en#:~:text=The%20Commission%20has%20set%20out,under%20organic%20farming%20by%202030