Red tape action planned for Scottish farmers

A new Advisory Board to help cut red tape for farmers is to be set by the Scottish Government.

The move follows the publication of ‘Doing Better Initiative to Reduce Red Tape for Farmers & Rural Land Managers’, a report which has been more than two years in the making under the guidance of Brian Pack OBE.

The final document contains no fewer than 61 separate recommendations. Top of the list, however, is the clearly stated need for an ‘overarching Advisory Board’ to ensure that regulatory bodies in Scotland are strategically and operationally aligned.

“The Scottish Government is already taking steps to minimise the bureaucratic burden for farmers, such as the improved online service we are developing to make the new Common Agricultural Policy as accessible as possible, but it is clear we need to do more,” said Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary, Richard Lochhead.

“I agree that there is a great deal of merit in our regulatory bodies having an integrated approach and the overarching Advisory Board will be the key to driving this recommendation forward and helping me implement the other recommendations in the report.  That is why I have asked my officials to look into how and when establishing this new overarching Advisory Board can best be done.”

Mr Pack added it was the implementation of the recommendations that would improve the lot of farmers, land managers and regulators, not producing a report itself.

“I am greatly encouraged by the Cabinet Secretary’s response and feel confident that with his drive behind the recommendations we will achieve a step change in the regulation of the Rural and Environment sectors,” he said.

Red tape report

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