A Green and Productive Land
Each year £136 million is spent removing pesticides
and nitrates from UK drinking water. In one year the
UK imported 240,000 tonnes of pork and 125,000 tonnes
of lamb while exporting 195,000 tonnes of pork and 102,000
tonnes of lamb. 68% of people in Scotland believe there
should be an increase in organic farming in Scotland
The Scottish Green Party believes firmly in a countryside
which is managed to enhance the environment, not degrade
it. We support all forms of agriculture that can achieve
this and view organic production as a major part of
sustainable land use in Scotland. We reject the technology
of Genetic Modification (GM), which has created new
species of organisms in isolation from millions of years
of evolution. We believe GM poses incalculable risks
to the environment and the sustainability of our agriculture.
We also recognise that rural poverty is a reality
and that appropriate support structures must be put
in place to alleviate disadvantage through community-led
development and management of rural resources. Greens
recognise that ecological restoration through reforestation
has the potential to restore Scotland’s damaged
environment and also to help revitalise the economy.
Over 100 community owned and managed woodlands already
exist in Scotland, helping to improve the economic,
social and ecological well-being of their communities.
We believe that the inequitable power of the supermarkets
in their relationship with farmers is an injustice that
needs to be creatively challenged by the Scottish Executive
through dialogue and the development of farmers’
collective bargaining power. Connecting consumers with
healthy fresh local produce ‘from the field to
the plate’ is important to the building of a food
culture in Scotland that can make our diet the ‘primary
health service’. Equally, the future of the environment
and the rights of animals should not be prejudiced by
the way we feed ourselves.
Green MSPs will work for the following:
We will treble the funding available to ‘agri-environment
schemes’ in the next four years of the Parliament
to aid the maintenance of wildlife habitats on farms.
We will work for further reform of the Common Agricultural
Policy to move away from subsidising food production,
which benefits large farms, towards paying for the
environmental and social benefits small farms often
deliver. We will develop a flagship Organic Farming
Action Plan to increase development of organic food
and farming, including ongoing subsidy payments
to organic farmers that equal the highest payment
rates offered in Europe.
We will develop a Scottish public procurement
strategy to encourage the purchase of locally produced
food by schools, hospitals and other institutions.
We will place a total ban on Scottish farm-scale
GM crop trials and a block on GM commercialisation
We will ensure that local people have a central
role in creating plans for rural development and
nature conservation. This will allow rural areas
to develop in ways that are both environmentally
sensitive and recognise the aspirations of communities.
We will properly fund and improve the existing
system of nature conservation designation, such
as sites of special scientific interest, and extend
funding and safeguards for good management to the
wider countryside and marine areas. National Parks
must become beacons of good practice and models
of community participation and sustainable land
use, and in the longer term these models should
be rolled out across the whole of Scotland.
We will introduce a new strategy in readiness for
the next outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in Scotland
to be based on a policy of containment using vaccination
with limited culling used only as a last resort.
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