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Rural Economy

Rural Economy

Scotland’s rural economy is varied and vibrant, but in many places it is also fragile. SEFARI research plays a key role in better understanding our rural communities, and the economy which underpins them. Our research examines the main drivers for change facing Scotland’s rural economy, and identifies ways in which land-based and other rural industries and government policy, can adapt to these challenges.  While the focus is primarily on agriculture, research also covers other prominent sectors in the rural economy, such as forestry and tourism.

Case Studies

1 Dec 2020

Using Natural Capital Approaches to support sustainable land management in Scotland: Insights from five pilot studies

Natural capital approaches involve identifying, understanding, and measuring the relative contribution of nature to economic performance and human well-being. By adopting the language of business, natural capital approaches allow the natural environment to be included in discussions about business decisions.

16 Nov 2020

Assessing natural capital impacts and dependencies within upland farming systems

Natural capital underpins sustainability and refers to the stocks of natural resources, which include geology, soil, air, water, and all living things.

4 Nov 2020

Phase 2 Grouse Research - Socioeconomic and biodiversity impacts of driven grouse moors and the employment rights of gamekeepers

This ‘Phase 2’ Grouse Research addresses some of the knowledge gaps regarding Scottish driven grouse moor management that were identified during our ‘Phase 1’ Grouse Research as well as gaps identifie

30 Oct 2020

Antimicrobial resistance: bringing Scottish expertise together to find the solutions

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global, immediate and ongoing concern to human health.

18 May 2020

The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018: Evidence needs for improving outcomes for Scotland’s island communities

The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 introduced several measures to ensure that there is a sustained focus across the Scottish Government and the public sector to meet the needs of island communities, now and in future.

25 Feb 2020

Reflecting on Islands Revival and Introducing Research on the Edge

2019 was an important year for Scotland's islands, with the development of The National Islands Plan, an increased focus on repopulation, and concern abou

30 Jul 2019

Exploring the Gender Pay Gap in Rural Scotland

This scoping study explored the extent of the gender pay gap in rural Scotland, how it has changed over recent years, and potential reasons that might explain its extent and fluctuations over time.

19 Jul 2019

The Impact of Change on Rural Businesses

Through a series of Rural Business Surveys, our research is developing a better understanding of the characteristics, contributions and aspirations of rural businesses across the South and North-East of Scotland. 

12 Jun 2019

Is the demographic tide turning for some Island Communities?

In recent months population trends in remote and Sparsely Populated Areas (SPA) of Scotland have become a political issue, not least due to fears about the likely impact of post-Brexit migration policy.

14 Jan 2019

Common Interest Groups: Helping smaller businesses to succeed through partnership

The food and drink supply chain is dominated by small and micro businesses. In Scotland more than 95% of businesses in the sector employ less than 12 people. Many of these smaller companies have a common desire to grow and succeed but this can be is hampered by their size.

13 Dec 2018

The Demographic Challenges Facing Scotland's Sparsely Populated Areas

This case study summarises ongoing work exploring how changes in the population of remote and rural areas in Scotland affect the social, economic and ecological resilience of these areas.

5 Nov 2018

The economic cost of animal disease: Winners and losers from Johne’s disease

SEFARI scientists, in collaboration with other research partners, provide evidence which informs the Scottish Government about the economic consequences of animal diseases.

16 Oct 2018

The Fruits of Their Labour: Seasonal Farm Workers in Scottish Agriculture

Scotland’s agricultural sector relies heavily on seasonal non-UK workers, particularly from central and eastern Europe, to meet its labour demand. Despite their importance for this sector, there was a lack of detailed information about them This case study draws on findings from SRUC’s recent study, funded by the Scottish Government, which aimed to improve our understanding of the labour market in Scottish agriculture. 

17 May 2018

Science and Innovation:The Nutrients for Growing a UK Blueberry Industry

Blueberries have gained in popularity amongst UK consumers. Currently UK blueberries supply only 5% of demand and there is a huge opportunity to increase home grown supply. 

28 Feb 2018

Make Innovation Happen: Helping Food and Drink Businesses Succeed

SEFARI is an important partner in ‘Make Innovation Happen’, which is an initiative coordinated by the Scotland Food and Drink Partnership.

Blog

28 Aug 2020 - 11:28

Informing & influencing public opinion towards supporting UK livestock farmers

In this blog, we discuss a new project that is seeking to support and inform farmers (through both research and communications) on how to best promote fair, balanced, and more impactful, positive stories about the livestock industry. 

2 Jul 2020 - 09:54

Taste of Plants

Eating a nutritious and more environmentally sustainable diet is an increasing priority. Growing and consuming novel crops could form part of the solution.

3 Jun 2020 - 15:14

SEFARI Gateway Update

In this blog, we thought we’d let you know the latest developments from SEFARI Gateway, as we continue to work together even though we are currently physically apart.