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Farmers call for radical overhaul of ag policy as they admit Brexit fears

89 per cent of farmers said it was time for change as they responded to the Government’s consultation on the future of food, farming and the environment.

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Farmers call for radical overhaul of ag policy as they admit Brexit is one of biggest fears

Farmers have teamed up to demand radical change in agricultural policy through calls to UK government on its consultation on the future for food, farming and the environment.

 

Responding to a survey by the Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN), 89 per cent said it was time for the shake-up despite almost half expressing concern the government would not manage it.

 

A further 96 per cent said they would like to see high environmental standards a key requirement of future trade deals; 79 per cent said the devolved should put the environment at the centre of any future farming policy and 93 per cent said they wanted a continuation of at least the current level of investment.

 

Others reiterated a need for the Government to include incentives on environmental outcomes and offer outcome based payments.


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Martin Lines, NFFN chairman said: “Brexit is a once in a lifetime opportunity to ensure British farmers have the systems and policies in place to grow affordable, healthy food whilst restoring and reversing soil declines.

 

“The NFFN is urging all farmers to respond to the consultation ahead of the deadline of May 8 to ensure their voice is heard.”

 

 

The response came as producers in the pig and poultry sector also raised concern with many confessing Brexit was one of their biggest fears.

 

On the fence

Findings from a survey by the British Pig and Poultry Fair found while 83 per cent of broiler producers said they had a positive outlook about the coming two years, only 56 per cent of the layer sector were expecting good things for their business.

More than two thirds of pig farmers hinted towards what they thought could be a bright couple of years but 47 per cent said they were wary about Brexit.

 

They also predicted their greatest challenge to be legislation and disease, fears also shared by layer egg and broiler producers.

 

Less than a third of layer egg producers said they considered Brexit a good thing.

 

One pig farmer said: “To date the weaker pound has benefitted from the decision to leave the EU.

 

“In the future there is a danger that Michael Gove sets higher welfare standards for the UK but financial pressure means the public choose to buy standard pork from other countries.”


The consultation will close on Tuesday May 8.

To respond click here, email agricultureconsultation@defra.gsi.gov.uk or write to:

Agriculture Consultation Team,

1b Future Farming Directorate, Department for Environment,

Food and Rural Affairs Nobel House,

17 Smith Square,

London SW1P 3JR

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