Responding to today’s report from the Efra Select Committee ‘The Future of Food, Farming and the Environment’, NFU President Minette Batters said:
“The findings from the Efra Select Committee will be welcome news for farmers and growers, who have long been calling on the Government to provide clarity on future funding and how British farming’s high standards will be protected post-Brexit.
“British farming operates to some of the highest standards in the world. The report’s recommendation that the Government does not enter into trade agreements that allow food imports that do not meet our environmental, welfare and food safety standards is particularly welcome. It is vital that British farming’s produce and contribution to the nation is not undermined.
“The NFU is pleased to see the Committee request that government produce a farm productivity plan by May 2019 and believe this could be a vital tool in ensuring that farm businesses are able to perform at their best and continue producing high-quality, safe, traceable food for the nation.
“A ring-fenced agricultural fund, along with new support mechanisms would also provide a positive step towards this. Sectoral assessments of the withdrawal of direct payments, as recommended by the report, would help the targeting of this additional support.
“As the Committee points out, the forthcoming Agriculture Bill will provide a crucial vehicle for implementing these and many other aspects of future agricultural policy. We agree that it is vital that the Committee carries out pre-legislative scrutiny before the formal introduction of the Bill.
“Farming is a long-term business and farm businesses need urgent clarity on what their future trading situation, labour supply and funding will look like. The NFU continues to press Government on confirming how long a transition period will apply for agriculture to ensure farmers are able to plan properly.”
:: Following the release of Efra’s report on The Future of Food, Farming and the Environment, NFU President Minette Batters featured on Sky News where she stressed the importance of a policy that works in harmony with both food production and the environment. Their online news feature is available here.