A new guide to farming in the North East has been produced to help cement improving relationships with local authorities in the wake of recent local government elections.
Aimed primarily at new councillors, the document follows hard on the heels of the regional guide to agriculture and net zero produced earlier in the year.
It provides information on the make-up and output of different farming sectors across the region, revisits environmental issues and touches on the financial challenges farmers are likely to face in the coming years.
Author, Kate Adams, says her goal is to help local authorities gain a better understanding of the contribution farming makes, the potential solutions the industry offers and the difficulties it faces, as well as to suggest how councils can support and encourage local farm businesses, for example through local sourcing and streamlined planning policies.
"Local councillors play an integral role in local communities, making decisions about services and standing up for local residents," she said. "As a region we work hard to build good relationships with them and saw the recent elections as a great opportunity to provide them with a useful introduction to farming across the region plus an overview of the NFU’s key policy documents, with a focus on net zero, water management and levelling up.
"The document has been sent to all local councillors and we have already received some really positive feedback, with many recognising the unprecedented position the sector is in with policy changes, the withdrawal of direct support and the ongoing fallout from the pandemic which has brought disruption to the food and drink market.
"It is another step on the road to a closer working relationship, which ultimately can only benefit individual members and the wider farming community."