United Kingdom consults its agricultural sector about the future English agrarian policy
This consultation will last 10 weeks and will shape a series of measures that will be applied 50 years after the Brexit.
Farmers, landowners and food producers have a unique opportunity in the generation to shape the future of English agriculture and the environment, with a consultation initiated on February 27 by the Secretary of Environment Michael Gove .
Government proposals will redirect money from direct payments under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which are based on the amount of cultivated land, to a new system of payment to farmers of "public money for public goods" , whose main function is to improve the environment and invest in sustainable food production.
Other public goods that could be supported include investment in technology and skills to improve productivity, provide public access to farmland and the countryside, better welfare standards for livestock, and measures to support the resilience of rural and rural communities. the highlands.
In line with its manifest commitment, the Government will continue to commit the same total cash in funds for agricultural support until the end of this Parliament in 2022. Today it has presented proposals for an "agricultural transition" that will last several years beyond the implementation period, during which direct payments will continue, providing stability and certainty for farmers while preparing for the new system.
At the same time, however, reductions to direct payments to the largest landowners could first release around 150 million pounds in the first year of the agricultural transition period, which could be used to encourage farmers to provide environmental improvements and other public goods.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove stressed: "As we leave the EU, we have a historic opportunity to offer an agricultural policy that works for the entire industry, today we solicit the views of those who will be affected to make sure we have this right, so that any future scheme reflects the reality of the lives of farmers and food producers.
"The proposals in this document establish a series of possible paths towards a brighter future for agriculture, they are the beginning of a conversation, not a conclusion, and we want all those who care about the food we consume and the environment that we surrounds contribute. "
While claiming that the agricultural transition will last several years beyond the implementation period, the consultation initiated today asks respondents for their views on how long they should last.
As established by the Secretary of State at the NFU Conference two weeks ago, the consultation is an opportunity for farmers to become more relevant in government plans than ever for fifty years, as the UK leaves the EU .
Among the range of proposals presented by the Government in this consultation, Health and Harmony: The Future of Food, Agriculture and the Environment in a Green Brexit ", the Government seeks opinions on:
- Options on how to gradually eliminate direct payments, starting with the owners of larger lands, while developing a new environmental management scheme for the land.
- The range of public goods that could qualify to receive government funds under the new schemes, such as high standards of animal welfare, wildlife protection, public access and new technologies.
- Measures to move away from the heavy-handed application that penalizes farmers for minor errors, including a more efficient inspection regime to maintain important environmental and animal welfare standards.
- New business models and incentives for the industry to invest in innovation and new technologies to increase profitability.
The current system of support for farmers and landowners made up by the CAP is inefficient and inequitable. It does not ensure the public goods necessary to improve our environment, such as resistant habitats, richer wildlife, healthier rivers and cleaner water.
Farm payments in 2019 will follow the existing model, and in the meantime, the government has committed to simplifying applications for farmers who wish to enter existing schemes to provide environmental benefits, such as rural management.
The consultation will last for ten weeks and will end on May 8, 2018.
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