The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee has published its Scrutiny of the Agriculture Bill report today (27 November).
The committee recommends an amendment to the Agriculture Bill which introduces a multiannual financial framework to provide a long-term funding commitment to the industry. The report also calls on the Government to bring forward another amendment to ensure that any food imported under future trade deals maintain or exceed UK standards.
CLA President Tim Breitmeyer gave evidence to the influential committee in October.
He said: “I am pleased to see the committee has understood the importance of ensuring the right framework for gradual transition from the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to a new system based on public money for public goods, alongside targeted investment to deliver productivity gains within the sector.
“Farmers and land managers are vital to delivering environmental improvements such as a coordinated water management policy and good soil health. Profitable farming and high-quality food production can go hand in hand with delivering public goods but it requires long-term business planning backed by the certainty of guaranteed investment.
“Multiannual payments give greater certainty to farm businesses, providing the confidence needed to invest and adapt for the future. We now need the Government to back the committee’s findings and commit to this long-term funding.”
Mr Breitmeyer also supported the committee’s recommendations on future trade deals.
He said: “We have consistently made it clear to ministers that getting the right trade deal for UK farmers is paramount. The UK should not compromise on the rules that guarantee high standards of production, environmental protection and animal welfare.
“An influx of cheaper agri-food produced to lower standards from the EU and beyond would have a significant negative impact on consumers and the rural economy.”