Join Farmers Guardian Editor Ben Briggs, and Head of News and Business Olivia Midgley, for weekly thought-provoking and lighthearted debate around the key issues affecting farming, food and the countryside right now.
Welsh farmers will continue to receive the same level of funding in 2021 as they received in 2019 – there is no need for worry about rural spending, says Paul Davies MS, leader of the Welsh Conservatives.
The Scottish and Welsh Governments are giving their farmers more time to prepare for big policy changes than Defra in England. It is small, family farmers who will pay the price for this rush to abolish direct support, says Labour Shadow Defra Secretary Luke Pollard.
We understand farmers are anxious about the changes outlined by Defra in its agricultural transition plan this week, but that change will offer real opportunities for the sector, says Farming Minister Victoria Prentis.
2020 has been a challenging year for farmers, but with the end of the transition period, changes to direct payments and new trade deals on the horizon, 2021 may bring further hardship, says Conservative peer Anne McIntosh.
The Tories have already broken their promise to protect British farmers from being undermined by low-standard imports – now they have one chance left to redeem themselves, says Labour Shadow Farming Minister Daniel Zeichner.
Ahead of the Commons debate on Lords amendments to the Agriculture Bill this week, Ben Lake, Ceredigion MP and Plaid Cymru’s agriculture spokesman in Westminster, warns protecting food standards today is about building a better rural economy for tomorrow.
During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in April, food kept flowing through the UK’s borders and into our supermarkets. But a second wave coupled with a no-deal Brexit has the potential to threaten our supply, says Efra select committee chair Neil Parish.
Without some serious changes, the Trade and Agriculture Commission could end up becoming little more than a fig leaf for the Government’s failure to protect production standards in law, says Labour Shadow Farming Minister Daniel Zeichner.
ELMS might not be shaping up to be the revolutionary scheme promised by Ministers, but my experience tells me reinventing the wheel may not necessarily be a good thing, says Efra committee chairman Neil Parish MP.
New Trade and Agriculture Commission member Shanker Singham has not always had the best reputation in the farming community. Abi Kay speaks to him to find out how he thinks UK farmers can be protected in a post-Brexit world.
Both the UK and Welsh Governments are taking steps to cut red tape for farmers after the Brexit transition period ends, proving that leaving the EU can reduce our bureaucratic burden, says Janet Finch-Saunders, Welsh Conservative Shadow Rural Affairs Minister.
The UK faces a dizzying cocktail of two crises and a challenge hitting simultaneously. Just one of these would be a real test for any Government or nation, but the dark brew of all three will be bitter, says Labour Shadow Defra Secretary Luke Pollard.
Confidence must be restored in Welsh Government’s ability to support rural communities in the post-EU era after it incurred fines for mishandling funds, says Llyr Gruffydd, North Wales MS and Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs.
After the Auditor General for Wales found WG mishandled RDP funds, Ministers must prove they can properly channel money to farmers through their post-Brexit schemes, says Paul Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives.
With more than one million people backing food standards by signing the NFU petition to protect them in law, we may yet force the Government’s hand on this issue, says Tim Farron, agriculture spokesman for the Liberal Democrats.
Breaking away from restrictive EU rules on gene editing should be a no-brainer for Government, and we have provided a means to do this through the Agriculture Bill, says Julian Sturdy MP, chair of the Science and Technology in Agriculture APPG.
After listening carefully to the arguments on both sides, Conservative High Peak MP Robert Largan decided he couldn’t vote for or against the Agriculture Bill amendment to ban low standard imports. Here, he explains why.
Brexit provides huge opportunities for UK farmers, and the pandemic which has exposed the fragility of global supply chains could encourage more shoppers to buy British, says Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski.
Like nearly every other industry in the country, agriculture is experiencing incredible challenges due to Covid-19, yet Welsh farmers remain in the dark as to what support, if any, they might receive, says Andrew RT Davies, Welsh Shadow Rural Affairs Minister.
Food security, just a few weeks ago in happier times when Parliament was discussing the Agriculture Bill line-by-line, the Farming Minister and I slugged it out over food security, and frankly, very few people noticed, says Labour’s Shadow Farming Minister Daniel Zeichner.
Whatever seemed relevant two months ago, perhaps only two weeks ago, has been turned on its head. None of us really knows what’s going on now, but the impact on everybody and everything is impossible to second-guess, says Oliver Dowding, arable farmer and agricultural spokesman for the Green Party in the south west.
Labour has not always done the best job of speaking for the countryside, but farmers need us to raise their concerns now more than ever, because uber-loyal Tories afraid of Number 10 won’t, says Shadow Defra Secretary Luke Pollard.
Having George Eustice at the cabinet table during such a pivotal time for agriculture will benefit farmers across the whole of the UK, says Andrew RT Davies, Welsh Conservative Shadow Rural Affairs Minister.
Almost four years on from the referendum, we still don’t know whether farmers will be able to sell into the EU market or if they’ll be undercut by substandard imports, says Deirdre Brock, SNP spokesperson for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The Government is pushing several pieces of agriculture legislation through Parliament now, and as chair of the Efra committee and an FG reader, I intend to hold their feet to the fire every step of the way, says Neil Parish MP.
Farming in Scotland needs to change if we are to come close to meeting our climate targets, but the Scottish Government’s Agriculture Bill sets out no plans for reform, says John Finnie, Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands.
People suggesting farmers can grow more food to replace imports after Brexit fail to understand how difficult this will be made by new trade barriers holding up inputs, says Deidre Brock, SNP candidate for Edinburgh North and Leith.
At this crucial time, we need experienced voices in Parliament to hold Ministers to account and shape future farm policy, which is why I’ll stand again for Efra Committee chair if re-elected, says Neil Parish, Conservative candidate for Tiverton and Honiton.
The Scottish Government began working on future farming policy far too late, but farmers and crofters may finally start to get some of the answers they crave next year, says Mike Rumbles, Liberal Democrat MSP for the North East.
Farmers need to closely monitor their long-term businesses to curb the impact of Brexit’s short-term thinking, says Oliver Dowding, arable farmer and agricultural spokesman for the Green Party in the south west.
The outcome of this election is impossible to predict, but the implications for farming are huge. All parties should put the countryside and food at the top of the agenda, says Conservative Baroness Anne McIntosh.
The Tories have paid lip service to the agricultural sector over the past two years, but beyond the rhetoric, they’ve done very little to help farmers, says Kerry McCarthy, Labour candidate for Bristol East.
The row over convergence cash may be coming to an end, but farmers should remember the very recent harm Brexit’s architects have done to Scottish agriculture, says John Finnie, Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands.
The Labour Party does not give a hoot about farmers or food security – it would be happy to sell our rural community down the river, says Welsh Conservative Shadow Rural Affairs Minister, Andrew RT Davies.
In just under a month, the Welsh Government’s consultation on future farm support, Sustainable Farming and our Land, will close. Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths outlines why it is so important to have your say.
The Government’s refusal to levy no-deal tariffs on foreign imports will put pressure on UK farmers and risks flooding the domestic market with lower standard food, says Efra Committee chair Neil Parish MP.
If the Prime Minister suspends Parliament again, measures must be put in place to allow the Agriculture Bill to be carried over. Too much work would go to waste if it falls for a second time, says Shadow Defra Secretary Sue Hayman.