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Agribusiness News June 2023 – Policy Brief

2 June 2023

Seasonal Workers

The UK Government has announced plans to allow more seasonal workers into the UK.  An extra 10,000 visas will be made available for the agricultural sector, on top of the current allocation of 45,000.  However, as part of the overall policy of reducing net immigration, the UK Government is keen for UK workers to be trained, despite limited interest for this type of work during the Covid pandemic when many peopled were furloughed.

Moveable Transaction (Scotland) Bill

Under the new Moveable Transactions (Scotland) Bill, businesses will be able to borrow more easily against assets such as vehicles and goods including whisky stores, and to borrow against intellectual property such as trademarks and patents.  The aim of the Bill is to bring benefits to all Scottish businesses, no matter their size or profile.

Under Part 1 of the Bill, the law will be reformed in relation to the assignation of debt.  A new Register of Assignations will be introduced which will provide an alternative to intimation as a means of assigning debt.  Part 2 of the Bill deals with security over moveable property; paving the way for moveable property to be offered as security against loans/mortgages.

Food Security Unit

Following the recommendation of the Short-life Food Security and Supply Taskforce, the Scottish Government is setting up a new Food Security Unit.  The new unit’s remit is to monitor the food supply chain to build resilience in the wake of Brexit, Covid and the ongoing war in Ukraine.  The overarching aim is to anticipate shocks and where possible, to develop policies to reduce their likelihood or mitigate their effects.

National Insurance Contributions

As a result of increases in life expectancy, the current State Pension Age (SPA) of 66 years will rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028.  To be eligible for the current full state Pension of £203.85 per week, you need ~35 qualifying years.

The National Insurance checker on the UK Government website ( will tell you if you have any gaps, whether you can pay voluntary contributions and how much this will cost.   Equally, if you think there are any errors in your national insurance record, contact  HMRC well before the deadline of the 31st of July 2023 to allow for any errors in your record to be rectified.

Affordable Housing Supply Programme

Up to £25 million is being made available from 2023-2028 to help councils identify affordable homes for key workers in rural communities.  The five year initiative, set out in the Scottish Government’s priorities for the next three years, will enable local authorities and registered social landlords to acquire or lease underused or empty properties which can then be used to provide homes to meet the needs of their communities.

June Census 2023

Following a pause last year, the June Agricultural Census will be live online from the 1st of June.

In order to help support more informed decision making around farming, the Scottish Government have been making changes to the format of the June Census.

In addition to the Census being accessible online, instead of answering many questions on land use, farmers and crofters will just be asked to provide summary figures.  In addition, in an effort to ensure that the census data reflects farming in Scotland today, a new section will be introduced to allow tailored questions relating to current and developing topics, e.g. tillage and manure management.

Completing the census is a legal requirement under the Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Act 2020.  The census can be accessed at:

If you are not already registered, you can register for an online account at:

All sections should be completed based on information relevant to the business on the 1st of June 2023 unless otherwise directed.

Further guidance on completed the June 2023 census can be found here:
Scottish Agricultural Census – News, guidance and sample forms – (


Key dates

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