The primary purpose of farming is the production of food and non-food
products for the market, but it is a diverse and complex industry that can have
significant non-market effects. These effects include positive benefits such as
contributions towards the maintenance or enhancement of aesthetic landscapes,
biodiversity and rural cohesion.
However, farming can also generate significant
negative effects, for example in the form of environmental damage such as air
and water pollution and habitat degradation. These effects reflect a divergence
between private and social costs and benefits, and may merit public intervention
in order to improve outcomes for society.
The government can intervene in a
range of ways, for example, by providing information, creating incentive schemes
or through command-and-control approaches. Regardless of the type of
intervention, governments are increasingly aware of the problems that poorly
designed regulation can create and “better regulation” has become an important
policy driver at both European and national levels.
This study, which was commissioned by Scottish Government and SNIFFER, sought
- Describe the regulations associated with Scottish agriculture;
- Provide an overview of the methodology for assessing the costs and benefits
- Assess the costs and benefits associated with key regulations in Scottish
- Identify areas where there are opportunities to improve the effectiveness of
Download the Research Briefing
Overview of the costs and benefits associated with the regulation of Scottish agriculture