New Agriculture Bill to boost environment and food production

A future where farmers are properly supported to farm more innovatively and protect the environment is a step closer today following the introduction of the Agriculture Bill.
calendar icon 16 January 2020
clock icon 6 minute read

For farmers new to environmental work or hoping to do more than they currently do under the future Environment Land Management (ELM) scheme, the transition period will also allow them time to understand how new schemes can work best for their farm. Farmers and land managers can seek advice and information from Natural England’s team of advisors on the possible options available both now with a new Countryside Stewardship application window opening this year, and in the future when the future ELM scheme is fully rolled out.

The government has already announced that the funding available for Direct Payments for 2020 will be the same as for 2019, and the Direct Payments to Farmers (Legislative Continuity) Bill has been introduced to Parliament to enable us to make Direct Payments to farmers for the 2020 scheme year– giving much-welcomed certainty to our farmers and food producers.

For subsequent years we are committed to matching the current budget available to farmers in every year of this Parliament, providing certainty and stability in advance of transitioning to the new system in England and phasing out direct payments in favour of rewarding the provision of “public goods”.

"Productivity shouldn’t just be about producing more food; it must not be an expense to the environment, and should involve farmers delivering healthy food at world-leading standards. This new Agriculture Bill needs to be clear and transparent, enabling farmers to have an honest contract with society for the future."

-Martin Lines, Chair of the Nature Friendly Farming Network-

"We will move away from the EU’s bureaucratic Common Agricultural Policy and towards a fairer system which rewards our hard-working farmers for delivering public goods, celebrating their world-leading environmental work and innovative, modern approach to food production. "

-Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers-
free range organic pigs in a green field

"This Bill is one of the most significant pieces of legislation for farmers in England for over 70 years and it is absolutely vital that it is tailored to farming’s specific needs and ambitions."

-NFU President Minette Batters-
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