News
6th Jan

2016

TFA Media Release No. 01 – TFA Chairman to Address Oxford Real Farming Conference

TFA Chairman to Address Oxford Real Farming Conference

The Tenant Farmers Association’s National Chairman, Stephen Wyrill, will today take part in a panel session at the Oxford Real Farming Conference focusing on the sustainability and resilience of farming in the UK.

The session sponsored by the organisation, Sustain, will seek to discuss whether current Government and food industry policy adequately protects the environment and promotes sustainable farming.

“With the TFA’s focus on the tenanted sector of agriculture, my primary focus will be on addressing our major concern about unsustainable, short term Farm Business Tenancies.  The TFA has been campaigning for changes to both legislation and the taxation system to encourage longer term tenancies that enable people to invest, manage the land and make a sustainable living whilst improving soil management and the environment.  If landlords want to continue to receive the generous tax subsidies available to them, they must be required to let land for a longer period of time to enable the sustainability of the farm businesses operating on those tenancies,” said Mr Wyrill.

“Another area that I will address is current Government support for agriculture through the CAP.  There is no reason why we should not limit the amount of money paid out under the Basic Payment Scheme to at least match the figure previously proposed by the European Commission – approximately £220,000 per claim.  There is no justification for the Government continuing to pay the relatively small number of individuals in excess of this figure particularly when the money saved could be used to improve spending on agri-environment and rural development schemes,” said Mr Wyrill.

“There are also other aspects of Government policy which are working against sustainable agriculture which I will seek to address, not least in the area of renewable energy.  The payment of the feed in tariff for crop fed anaerobic digestion systems is not only causing rental inflation in the land market, but the unsustainable production of maize on land that should never be growing maize.  I was sad to see that Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, had put off making a decision about reducing the feed in tariff for crop fed AD until the spring.  The Government must take action to remove the subsidy which is clearly not required and is producing unsustainable outcomes,” said Mr Wyrill.

“I will also be arguing for enhancement of the powers of the Groceries Code Adjudicator to protect farmers in the supply chain through allowing own initiative investigations, consideration of retailer to farmer impacts where processors are in between and reporting on price transparency,” said Mr Wyrill.

end

Ref:  MR01

Date: 06 January 2016

Notes for Editors:

For further information contact Stephen Wyrill on 07754 582600 or TFA Communications and Events Co-ordinator Jenna Kirkpatrick on 0118 930 6130.

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