Protection part of Green vision
THE Scottish Green Partys vision of agriculture involves what it calls local protectionism, with consumers and local producers linked directly and any wealth generated kept circulating in a local area. Farmers markets are given as a simple example.
Centrepiece of green policy is a major support package to make 30% of Scottish production organic by 2010. Standards of excellence would also be boosted by tighter animal welfare regulations.
A tax on chemical farm inputs would be introduced with the revenue ring fenced for agricultural development. There would be an action plan to combat soil erosion and nitrate pollution.
Other aims are increased support for co-operation, diversification, and lowland crofting. The greens would impose a complete ban on genetic engineering research and halt meat imports from countries using hormones. An independent Scottish food standards agency would be established.
The partys best chance of a seat in the new parliament is in the north-east.