The Government must act with more urgency in cutting red tape so that farmers can see the benefits on the ground.
Following today’s publication of the Farming Regulation Task Force’s report, NFU Deputy President Minette Batters said she welcomed the range and aim of the report.
“This report shows why farmers are concerned about regulation. There is a huge amount of work and a strong commitment to regulating better on all sides. But I really want to see government, agencies and farm businesses working together consistently in trusting relationships” she said.
“I’m disappointed that, as it stands, some farmers may not feel a difference from every change and in some cases the impacts of changes may not filter through for several years. It is for this reason that it is incredibly important that the government and in particular Defra makes every effort to better communicate to farmers those changes that do make a difference on the ground.
The NFU is also concerned about the speed of delivery and lack of urgency in delivering some of the recommendations. This includes simplifying livestock movement controls from 2016 – which should have happened much sooner. But Defra Ministers do continue to work with the industry on other regulatory solutions such as the Campaign for the Farmed Environment.
“I hope that Defra will also join directly with the NFU to promote smarter regulation in Brussels with the European Commission,” said Minette.
“What we need to see is embedding a culture change across Defra and its agencies that will see them continuing to develop the farming knowledge of their staff and working in greater partnership with the industry, so we can be in a position where farmers and growers can focus on the business of producing British food rather than being professional form-fillers.”