The NFU has responded to the announcement by Defra Secretary of State Michael Gove that ministers will consult on a new independent, statutory body to advise and challenge government, and potentially other public bodies, on environmental legislation.
Making the announcement, Mr Gove said: "We will consult as widely as possible on these proposals to ensure we get this important decision right for future generations."
NFU Vice President Guy Smith said: “Farming has a daily interest in managing and protecting environmental resources alongside the practical challenges of food production. With this in mind the NFU will be giving careful consideration to the aims and objectives of any new, independent body set up to protect the environment. The proposals appear ambitious and will provide an opportunity for agriculture to work in partnership with government to help shape a new approach to the regulation of our environment post-Brexit.
“The agricultural sector manages some 70% of land in the country, playing an integral part in protecting, maintaining and enhancing our countryside but also producing high quality, safe and affordable food.
“Our interests in this new body and the policy principles will be in how these are framed to support productive agriculture, while protecting our soils, water and wildlife and how these can ensure that our regulatory regimes have appropriate levels of regulatory equivalence with trading partners, to maximise the potential and fairness of our trading relationships.”