The NFU’s latest Vision paper, Delivering a bold and ambitious future for farming, outlines what it would like government to adopt as part of a new Domestic Agricultural Policy to ensure UK farming is profitable, productive and competitive in the future.
It sets out the exciting opportunities that a bespoke agricultural policy could provide as the UK enters a new relationship with the EU.
It builds on the key themes the NFU sees as being integral to an agricultural policy; volatility, productivity and the environment, and identifies a number of actions that are vital in delivering a bold and ambitious future for the farming sector.
NFU President Meurig Raymond urged the government to adopt the measures to help make a success of Brexit for the nation.
He said: “For decades, UK farming has been subject to policies set at a pan-European level, implementing successive CAP reforms driven from the European stage. Once we leave the EU, we will have the opportunity to develop a new deal for British farmers and citizens – one in which farm businesses are provided with the incentives, rewards and means to become more profitable and resilient and to better meet the expectations and needs of society at large.
“We believe that in the future farmers should be able to draw down bespoke assistance from within ourthree cornerstones of productivity, environment and volatility. Crucially, the outputs from these measures are not mutually exclusive; they all work together to enable farming to be competitive, profitable and progressive – a sustainable partner within a dynamic British food supply chain.
“That is why it is absolutely crucial that we adopt an integrated policy; one that provides farmers with the collective means to manage volatility, improve productivity and enhance the environment. The absence of focus on any of these cornerstones would necessarily undermine delivery across the other two.
“There is rightly an exciting and energetic debate at the moment about how farm support should be delivered once we have left the EU. Our framework makes the strongest possible case for a coherent approach that means farmers can continue to do what they do best – producing safe and affordable food to the high standards the public expects, while caring for the environment in which they operate.”
The NFU’s framework document is underpinned by more detailed and comprehensive plans for each of its three cornerstones, which will be published on NFU Online from today, and which will form the basis of in-depth discussions with politicians and stakeholders as the government prepares to publish its plans for its forthcoming Agriculture Bill.