9th Dec


TFA Media Release – MR19/45 – Sustainable Policies for Farming Needed Post General Election

The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) is urging politicians to ensure they have a strong and positive policy framework for UK agriculture in the post-election period.

TFA Chief Executive, George Dunn said “Inevitably, the General Election campaign has been dominated by questions over Brexit and the future of the NHS.  Very little of the debate has focused on the future of our agricultural industry and the 70% of the landscape it covers.  The main Party manifestoes said little about future policy for food and farming and what they did say has left the TFA with concerns.”

Our farmers are in the driving seat to deliver across a range of societal needs.  This starts with producing great quality food to high environmental, animal welfare and social standards.  We can add to this landscape, biodiversity, flood risk management, clean water, clean air, renewable energy, access to the countryside, carbon storage and sequestration and the vital backdrop to our important tourism industry.  However, we put all of this at risk if we fail to ensure that farmers can secure a sustainable level of profit from their businesses.

Some of the soundbites from the Party manifestoes could do serious damage to the profitability of the agricultural sector.

“Abandoning the badger culls as part of our armoury to control bovine TB, when in fact they are beginning to show real impact, would do serious damage to the sustainability of dairy and livestock farming.  Banning live animal exports might sound like a good idea from an animal welfare perspective, but this trade is already heavily regulated to ensure the highest standards of animal welfare apply,” said Mr Dunn.

The TFA is also looking for a greater degree of common sense about how we achieve our goals to be carbon neutral by 2050.  In comparison to global agriculture, UK agriculture is already two and a half times more carbon efficient in terms of emissions and is also delivering massively through both carbon capture and storage.  Tree planting is not the only answer.

“The almost insatiable desire for tree planting runs the risk of displacing already carbon friendly agricultural practices on grassland systems.  We could also see profitable farm tenants ousted by landlords chasing lucrative tree planting and management grants. We are urging politicians to think very carefully about the decisions they take to ensure there are no unintended consequences from their policies,” said Mr Dunn.


Ref:  MR 19/45

Date: 09 December 2019

Notes for Editors:

The TFA has published its main priorities for the next Government following the General Election on 12 December. To read the TFA Manifesto, click here.

For media enquires contact Julia Meadows, TFA Communications and Events Co-ordinator on 0118 930 6130 or 07887 777157.

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