'Putting farming at the forefront of environmental policy'

Mark Pope Environment Forum Chairman_40041

Chairman of the NFU Environment Forum, Mark Pope, outlines the messages he'll make sure the government hears as work gathers pace on developing a new Domestic Agricultural Policy.

Our forum priorities will continue to be around post-Brexit policy. As it’s clear the environment is an important area for this government, we anticipate a busy 12 months. Areas of focus include the long-awaited 25-year environment plan, expected early in 2018. The NFU’s Domestic Agricultural Policy (DAP) framework is a good platform to engage with government on what we would expect to see.

The NFU believes competitive food production is not at odds with successfully managing the environment, and that Brexit presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for policies that work for farmers, the environment and consumers. We believe future environmental policy should include a mix of incentive schemes, new market approaches and industry-led action to improve delivery. Science, research and innovation have important roles to help increase efficiency and reduce our environmental impact.

See also: 25 Year Environment Plan launched by PM

Post-Brexit environmental policy dominated the forum’s time in 2017 and fed into the NFU DAP framework, published in October. 

The forum hosted MPs Mary Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, and Rebecca Pow, parliamentary private secretary to Defra ministers, to discuss our ideas. We also hosted Defra and Natural England on-farm to talk about the development of a new agri-environment scheme. 

The forum has also dealt with issues including Countryside Stewardship, species reintroductions, flood management, NVZs, fly-tipping, soil management and water resources. 

:: Look out for more insight into the priorities of the NFU's Forums in the February edition of British Farmer and Grower magazine available to NFU members, out shortly.

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