Over the last few days, various national media outlets including the Observer and the BBC have reported sources stating that the government will be "rapidly reviewing" its plans to continue with Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes in England. On Tuesday, 27 September, Defra responded with a statement clarifying its position regarding the future of ELMs.
The purpose of ELM is to replace the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as a result of Brexit, in the most significant change to farming policy in England for over 50 years. The CLA continues to support ELMs and remains committed to seeing the policies continue in full.
We stand ready to support Defra in making further improvements to the ELM policy. It is a world-leading programme of which everyone – politicians, farmers, consumers and green campaigners alike – should be proud.
Addressing the latest news regarding ELMs, CLA President Mark Tufnell, said: “In recent days we have heard persistent rumours that Defra is planning to row back on its commitment to Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes. We call on ministers to bring these rumours to an end, not least because they only serve to damage confidence amongst farmers that the UK Government is serious about moving away from the Common Agricultural Policy regime."
Mark continued: “As farmers and land managers, we know that you do not have to choose between food production and improving the environment. We can and must do both. Indeed, we know, as do Defra officials, that looking after your soil and supporting biodiversity – the cornerstones of the ELM schemes - actually benefits farmers as they go about their work feeding the nation."
In his closing remarks, Mark reaffirmed the CLA's commitment to continuing to work with the government to see the ELM scheme continuation by saying: “We stand ready to support Defra in making further improvements to the ELM policy. It is a world-leading programme of which everyone – politicians, farmers, consumers and green campaigners alike – should be proud.”