23rd Jun


TFA Media Release – MR20/28 – Implementation Questions Must Not be Neglected When Developing New Government Schemes

The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) is calling for DEFRA to provide further detail on its plans for implementation of new policies as we move away from the Common Agricultural Policy.

Speaking at a Westminster Forum event today, TFA National Chairman, Mark Coulman said, that the Government must provide answers to key questions around the proposed new policy framework including about new farming regulations, food security measures, finance and how the industry can work towards net-zero carbon emissions.

The call from the TFA comes as DEFRA plans to relaunch its consultation on the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) Scheme, designed to reward farmers for the essential work they do in managing the environment, landscapes and animal welfare.

“Farmers who are well versed in responding to markets and systems, will welcome a public money for public goods approach.  However, support must reflect the work required by land managers to deliver and multi-annual commitments and schemes must be open to all.  This highlights the need for longer term tenancies to be encouraged and incentivised to ensure programmes are fully delivered,” said Mr Coulman.

“There was initial enthusiasm from Government to deliver a new, innovative outcome focused ELM scheme.  However, there is now concern that following delays in establishing a new policy framework, DEFRA will focus more cautiously on delivering a boosted Countryside Stewardship Scheme instead,” said Mr Coulman.

“The administration of new schemes must fully understand the influence of nature and the weather.  They must not come with cumbersome inspection and heavy-handed rules. Land managers must be able to deliver the stated outcomes without unnecessary prescription,” said Mr Coulman.

“It is important too to ensure that sustainable food production is not left in the footnotes of a new scheme.  Covid-19 has brought issues of food supply, food standards and food security into sharp focus.  A new scheme must incorporate these and balance them with environmental requirements, so that farms can be both economic and environmentally sustainable,” said Mr Coulman.

“It is also essential for the new scheme to direct support at active farmers.  Those in occupation, undertaking day-to-day management control and entrepreneurial risk.  This is of fundamental importance to those farming land they do not own, we do not want to see inactive landlords being the beneficiaries of new schemes,” said Mr Coulman.

“Whatever new arrangements come into being, practical delivery must be considered.  Farmers and land managers must be used for codesign of these schemes to ensure that they will function well in hitting their targets.  It will be a major missed opportunity if we fail to deliver well designed schemes, having just regained control of our farm support systems as we leave the regulations of the European Union behind,” said Mr Coulman.


Ref:  MR 20/28         

Date: 23 June 2020


Notes for Editors:

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


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