The 81 recommendations included in the report presented to the Scottish government were drawn up by a 100-strong panel consisting of members from all walks of life selected to be ‘representative of the general populace of Scotland’.
The report recommended that, given the exit from the EU (and the end of the Common Agricultural Policy funding model), the government should work with the farming community to develop a subsidy regime that encouraged farmers to transition to more sustainable land management practices, which should be fully implemented over the next five years.
“The need to replace the current funding regime provides a valuable opportunity to refocus subsidies and policy on sustainable land management to help meet carbon emission targets, and also to go further and look into the future,” read the report.
This could, it claimed, address around a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland – and could incentivise the sector to make changes through training, support and funding.
The group added: “We also think this is a fair way to support the transition to sustainable practices in agriculture as it would enable a move away from meat and dairy farming, in ways that give farmers time to adapt and diversify their businesses.”
Improved food labelling to allow consumers to buy local produce and properly assess carbon footprints was also called for.