Farmers and land managers will have greater freedom and more choice in the future thanks to the Government’s new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme, says High Peak Conservative MP Robert Largan.
Farming is not just a career, but a way of life that underpins so much that makes our countryside so distinct and wonderful.
As custodians of our landscape and wildlife, I respect and admire the work done by farmers to support rural communities in High Peak.
At the end of the transition period, each nation in the UK will finally be able to establish a system that works for farmers without top-down EU bureaucracy.
The Government has recently announced its plans for a better and fairer system for English farmers after we leave the Common Agricultural Policy.
These proposals promise to transform how farmers and the environment are supported for generations.
From 2021 to 2024, the Government will help English farmers to prepare for the new Environmental Land Management approach.
This includes a range of grants to help farmers reduce costs and improve profitability as well as to support research and development.
There are three key components in the Environmental Land Management approach.
First, a Sustainable Farming Incentive will reward farmers for managing their land in an environmentally sustainable way.
Second, Local Nature Recovery will pay farmers for delivering local environmental priorities.
And third, Landscape Recovery will help farmers with long-term, land-use change projects.
There will also be a bigger focus on advice and improvement, enabling farmers and regulators to work together in raising standards.
This will be a huge shift away from the complex rules and penalties of the EU system.
Farmers will also get help with business planning and training.
Direct payments will be phased out, starting next year, with the last direct payments being made in 2027.
But the current annual budget will be maintained in every year of this Parliament.
This means public money can be better invested through new schemes, producing better results for farmers.
I am also pleased that the Trade and Agriculture Commission will be put on a statutory footing, helping to ensure British farmers do not face unfair competition or see our animal welfare, environmental protection, or labour standards undermined.
This is an evolutionary, not a revolutionary, process.
Adjustments will be made throughout the transition to help farmers adapt to the new changes and reap the benefits of the new system that is being developed.
The Government’s roadmap gets the right balance between delivering for the environment, animal welfare and climate change as well as helping businesses to be more profitable, productive, and sustainable.
Farmers and land managers will have greater freedom and more choice in the future.
Robert can be found tweeting at @robertlargan