Scottish Government
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Getting rid of red tape

Next steps in a government drive to cut red tape for farmers were announced by Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead today.

Speaking at Scotsheep 2012 in Ayrshire, Mr Lochhead said that Brian Pack had now completed the initial scoping phase of his review. The report – Doing Better: The Scoping Report for the Initiative to Reduce Red Tape in Agriculture – was published today.

Mr Pack’s final recommendations are expected to be delivered by June 2013. His review will look at how to ensure better regulation while reducing bureaucracy and will seek input from farmers and stakeholders using an online system.

Mr Lochhead said:

“Farmers want to be free to farm, not burdened by bureaucracy. That’s what farmers and the wider rural community tell me and that’s why I asked Brian Pack to lead this review to stamp out needless red tape.

“This will build on the work we’ve already achieved – for instance, the SEARS initiative has delivered a reduction of more than 8,000 visits and inspections to date – but I know there is more that we can do.

“Today we are publishing the initial scoping report which sets out the timescale for the review and how it will be carried out. I agree wholeheartedly with Brian Pack’s proposed approach – as I believe we need the widest possible participation in the initiative to achieve our desired outcomes - and have given him the green light to start the review.

“Over the next few months there will be opportunities for people to take part through the innovative online consultation process – using an e-engagement platform - and I hope as many people as possible will provide their views.

“I know there will be a wide variety of views expressed but I am confident that Brian Pack has the expertise to find a solution which will fit the many and varied needs of all those involved.

“I look forward to receiving his final report and hope that, by implementing his recommendations, we can give farmers the time to do what they do best – farming our land, to produce high quality food for the nation and manage our magnificent countryside." 

Brian Pack said:

“It is good that the starting pistol has now been fired and the work to identify the regulations and regulatory structures that can be adjusted to free up farmers’ and land managers’ time, whilst maintaining desired outcomes, can start in earnest.

“Maximum engagement of all stakeholders, including regulators, will be key to the success of the Doing Better project. I look forward to working with all interested parties to identify the possible improvements and to build on the good work of SEARS.”