Future agricultural support

Ms Gougeon at RHS2023 Credit:ScotGovRural
Susan Thomson

New conditions for farming support payments will be introduced from 2025, to help more of Scotland’s farmers and crofters cut emissions and help tackle climate change.

The criteria will also support farmers and crofters to meet more of our food needs sustainably, and farm and croft while working to protect nature.

From 2025 farmers and crofters will be required to adopt the following practices to qualify for the payment:

  • foundations of a ‘Whole Farm Plan’ which will include soil testing, animal health and welfare declaration, carbon audits, biodiversity audits and supported business planning
  • protections for peatlands and wetlands to help farmers restore these vital habitats to sequester more carbon
  • meet new conditions to the Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme to help cut emissions intensity and make beef production more efficient

Speaking ahead of her address to farmers and crofters at the Quality Meat Scotland Breakfast event at the Royal Highland Show, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“As we take urgent action to tackle the climate emergency, I am determined to ensure that high quality food production is maintained. Unlike in England, there will be no cliff edges in support – I am committed to maintaining direct payments and supporting our nation’s producers through a just transition.

“An updated version of the route map has been published today. It contains much more information on what will change from 2025.  It makes clear that our transition will be a just one - some things won’t change before a new framework for support is implemented beyond 2026.

“These changes will only work if as many farmers and crofters as possible take part. So alongside the route map, from today we are embarking on an engagement programme for change. 

The updated Agricultural Reform route map can be found here


The QMS Breakfast marks the first of the Rural Affairs Secretary’s two-day programme of engagements at the Royal Highland Show. Amongst other events and meetings, she will also be attending:

  • The ‘Golden Shears’ launch event  
  • Supporting Women in Agriculture breakfast event
  • A roundtable with young farmers
  • The Rare Breed Survival Trust Scotland Food & Farming Sustainability Awards

Supporting you where you are

Scottish Government officials will be visiting agricultural shows, marts and area offices across Scotland, to share information and answer questions about agricultural reform in Scotland. Find us at:

Royal Highland Show

22-25 June

Haddington Show

1 July

Sutherland Show

22 July

Border union

28 July

Black Isle Show

2 & 3 August

Keith Show

5 & 6 August

Lanark auction mart

11 August

Mid Argyll

12 August

Caithness sale Sheep

14 August

Lairg sheep sale

15 August

Dingwall Market

31 August

Thainstone cattle

1 September


5 September


2 October

Craig Wilson Ayr

3 October

Wallet Marts, Castle Douglas

7 October

Oban (Highland Cow sale)

9 October

Oban Market

10 October

Lanark Market

19 October

Stirling UA

23 October

Craig Wilson Ayr

14 November

Additional in person and online events will be added to the programme.

For more information and full guidance on support available for conducting carbon audits and other Preparing for Sustainable Farming support, visit www.ruralpayments.org