Defra publishes Rock Review response - NFU reaction

24 May 2023

Tenants and land
Baroness Kate Rock

The government has announced new measures aimed at supporting the long-term sustainability of the tenant farming sector in response to the independent Rock Review.

Responding to the recommendations and actions to reform the sector announced by Defra, NFU Vice President David Exwood said: “As we said last October when Baroness Kate Rock published her independent review, agricultural tenants have a vital role in delivering this government’s food production and environmental ambitions, and in growing our rural economies, with landlords and tenants working together to achieve this.

“We welcome much of what Defra has announced today including the formation of a new farm tenancy forum. This forum would meet regularly and consider how the sector is progressing throughout the agricultural transition and, importantly, provide regular feedback on tenant/landlord relationships and agreements.

“It is essential the forum is up and running as quickly as possible to support the implementation of Defra’s recommendations to revitalise the sector.

“There are challenges ahead and more work to do to support our farming tenant members and the NFU will be working closely with government to take all its considerations forward including the proposed RICS Code of Practice.

“Ultimately, these reforms must enable us to grow a more vibrant, accessible and resilient tenanted farming sector.”

Read more about the government's proposals: Government sets out further support for tenant farmers | GOV.UK

david exwood crop 04

“Agricultural tenants have a vital role in delivering this government’s food production and environmental ambitions, and in growing our rural economies, with landlords and tenants working together to achieve this.”

NFU Vice President David Exwood

As part of the the announcement, the government said it will launch a Call for Evidence this summer on a proposal for a Tenant Farming Commissioner in England.

The Rock Review was published in October 2022, led by Baroness Rock and the Tenancy Working Group. The review looked into accessibility within the government's financial schemes as well long-term changes in the tenanted sector.

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