National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

15 January 2020

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) welcomes the introduction of a new Agriculture Bill to help guide the future of the industry.

The legislation offers reassurance to young people working in farming and sets out a clear plan for the future and the support available.

YFC members have been involved in the consultation process in the build up to the new Bill and have opportunities to share their views further on proposals. Consultation is still ongoing for the Environment Land Management Scheme (ELMS) and young farmers have also been invited to share their views on this with Defra at regional events across the country. (See here for more details).

David Goodwin, NFYFC’s Agriculture and Rural Issues (AGRI) steering group chairman, said:

“Many members of our Young Farmers’ Clubs will play a key role in the future of food, farming and the environment and this new legislation offers more certainty about the impact they can make.

“Young farmers will optimise future opportunities and rise to the challenge of problem solving. Unity, clarity of detail and direction are key for our future success.

“It is reassuring to see that the new bill encourages diversification and innovation, as well as aiming to create opportunities for new entrants to break into the industry.”

Highlights from new Agriculture Bill

The new Bill sets out how farmers and land managers in England will in the future be rewarded with public money for “public goods” – such as better air and water quality, higher animal welfare standards, improved access to the countryside or measures to reduce flooding. This will contribute to the government’s commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, while at the same time, helping to boost farmers’ productivity.

This will replace the current subsidy system of Direct Payments which pays farmers for the total amount of land farmed, skewing payments towards the largest landowners rather than those farmers delivering specific public benefits.

The new Bill champions British food by improving transparency and fairness in the supply chain from farm to fork and through investing in new technology and research to ensure Britain’s world-renowned food producers remain competitive and innovative.

In order to spend more on boosting productivity and environmental benefits, Direct Payments will be phased out over an agricultural transition period, which is due to start in 2021 and run for seven years.

Later in the agricultural transition, the government plans to ‘delink’ Direct Payments from the requirement to farm the land, a requirement that currently exists under EU law. This will give farmers greater flexibility to plan for their future as these payments will be able to be used by farmers to invest in their business, diversify their activities or help new people enter the sector.

To read the new Agriculture Bill, see here.

To see the NFU’s response to the Bill, see here.

To debate the future of the industry, why not take part in NFYFC’s AGRI Forum on 5 February at Daylesford Farm. See here for more information and to book your place



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