The Government has published its response to the Health and Harmony consultation setting out England’s agricultural policy over the next 10 years and how the Agriculture Bill will help achieve this.
CLA President Tim Breitmeyer said: “We welcome the Government’s response to Health and Harmony which acknowledges many of the industry’s concerns and provides more detail on the plans for the future of farming, food production and the environment.
“A policy where profitable food production and environmental work go hand in hand, based on a framework of realistic payment for delivering public goods and direct investment in productivity, is the right long-term approach. This was a central part of the CLA’s vision for the industry post-Brexit and we are pleased the Government has accepted such a wide definition of the public goods that farmers and land managers can deliver and that ongoing investment is needed.
“In our own response to the Health and Harmony consultation, we stressed that reductions in BPS payments should take place in manageable increments spread across the farming industry, not arbitrary caps that would put larger farm businesses at serious risk. The Government must now ensure that these initial cuts, any further gradual BPS withdrawal and the promised investment in productivity align with the introduction of the new environmental land management contracts to avoid any cliff edges for farm businesses.
“We will continue to work with the Government to help deliver these ambitious plans for a strong and sustainable future for food, farming and the environment. However, it is vital that we have absolute clarity on long-term EU/UK trade arrangements and urgent recognition of the ongoing need for migrant labour. Without this, the industry will be in crisis post-Brexit.”
Click here to read the Government response to Health and Harmony.
Click here to read the Agriculture Bill.