CLA North met with Don Valley MP, Nick Fletcher to discuss challenges and opportunities for farmers and landowners as the UK transitions away from the Basic Payment Scheme and towards Environmental Land Management Programmes. Meeting with a group of farmers from Hatfield, near Doncaster, Mr Fletcher heard about challenges with farming input prices and a low public understanding of how UK food is produced.
Farmers and landowners highlighted their concerns around the value of new farming support schemes, problems with employing suitably trained staff, and challenges with imported food which has been produced to a lower environmental and welfare standard than is required by UK farmers. Seeking a level-playing field, farmers asked for equivalence in trade deals and a focus on rural challenges in the development of UK wide policies such as planning and net zero.
Commenting on the meeting, CLA Rural Adviser Libby Bateman said, ‘It was very good of Nick to spare an afternoon to meet with farmers and landowners to listen to their concerns. The meeting was well attended by individuals from across the agricultural industry who gave a balanced overview of challenges within the industry, providing Nick with useful examples to take back to his work in Parliament.