News
29th Apr

2019

TFA Media Release – MR19/16 – House of Lords Supports Greater Flexibility for Tenant Farmers

The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) has welcomed a report from an influential House of Lords Committee which has called for the Government to address restrictions on farm tenancy agreements which prevent tenant farmers from diversifying.

The House of Lords Rural Economy Committee, having listened to evidence from the TFA’s Chief Executive, George Dunn, concluded that restrictions within tenancy agreements often prevented tenant farmers from diversifying their businesses.  It said the Government should consider a possible change in the law to provide greater flexibility for farm tenants as part of its consultation on reform of farm tenancy legislation.

“We welcome the support of the House of Lords Committee on this very important point.  As we move more towards a policy around public payments from public goods and seeing a reduced focus on supporting agriculture per se, we need to make sure that farm tenants are not disenfranchised in the process,” said Mr Dunn.

The TFA was disappointed that the Agriculture Bill, currently awaiting report stage in the House of Commons, contained no provisions to improve the position of farm tenants.  This was despite the recognition that change was necessary not least following the report of the Tenancy Reform Industry Group submitted to Government in autumn 2017.

“We are pleased that the Government has now come forward with a consultation on possible changes to tenancy legislation which includes, a suggested provision for allowing tenants greater flexibility to use their holdings for non-agricultural activities, such as diversification and for involvement in environmental schemes.  However, it is vital that we do not lose the opportunity within the current legislative window to get the necessary provisions in place.  The TFA hopes that their Lordships will take the opportunity of supporting amendments to the Bill if it leaves the House of Commons without adequate amendment,” said Mr Dunn.

 

Ref: MR19/16                                                                 Date: 29 April 2019

 

Notes for Editors:

 

For further information contact George Dunn on 07721 998961 or Julia Meadows, Communications and Events Coordinator, on 0118 930 6130 or 07887 777157.

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