Chair: Christopher Price, Rare Breeds Survival Trust
Vice Chair: Tom Lancaster, RSPB
Link: Zoe Davies, Policy Lead
As the Agriculture Bill passes through Parliament, we are working in partnership with Greener UK to secure amendments to the bill on priority issues, including a framework for long-term budget-setting, legal commitments to maintaining standards in trade deals and a more effective regulatory approach to underpin future farming schemes. For more detail, see our most recent briefing for Committee Stage of the bill.
In parallel, we are influencing the policies that will flow from the bill. Defra recently published two highly anticipated papers, one on its whole ‘Future Farming’ programme and one specifically on its flagship environmental land management (ELM) policy. In an analysis of these papers, vice chair of Link’s Agriculture Group, Tom Lancaster, concluded that although the trajectory is generally good, there is a significant gap where regulation should be, and worrying signals of diluted environmental ambition.
Link’s landmark research showed that, despite often being framed as sitting on opposite sides of the fence, farmers and conservationists are largely on the same page about the direction of future farming policy. Link’s report “Putting our eggs in a better basket: A survey of English farmers’ opinions on agriculture policy” shows that 80% of farmers believe the health of the natural environment is important or very important for their farm business. Furthermore, half (50%) of farmers agree with the principle of ‘public money for public goods’ (one third are neutral, and one in five disagree with the principle), and two thirds of farmers say regulation is important or very important to protect standards in the farming industry. This research is a clear call to government to deliver an ambitious Agriculture Bill and future policy that ensures farming and nature survive and thrive.
For further information, contact Zoe Davies, Link’s Policy Lead
Last updated: 1 July 2020
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