Government publishes Path to Sustainable Farming for England

Plans to transform the farming system in England have been set out by government, in what is being billed as the most significant change to farming and land management in 50 years.

Changes will come into force over a period of seven years to help farmers adapt to working outside the EU. The planned new system for English farmers aims to reward farmers and land managers for sustainable farming practices.

The government believes that the changes will ensure that by 2028, farmers in England can sustainably produce healthy food profitably without subsidy, while also taking steps to improve the environment, improve animal health and welfare and reduce carbon emissions.

For a digestible summary, please read the ‘Farming is Changing’ PDF, or the ‘Path to Sustainable Farming’  document which sets out in more detail the planned changes and what they will mean for farmers.

The key changes include:

  • Introducing the Environmental Land Management scheme to incentivise sustainable farming practices, create habitats for nature recovery and establish new woodland to help tackle climate change.
  • Investing in improving animal health and welfare as part of a sustainable farming approach.
  • Direct Payments will be gradually reduced with the money released being used to fund new grants and schemes to boost productivity and reward environmental improvements.
  • A Farming Investment Fund will be launched to support innovation and productivity. This will offer grants for equipment, technology and infrastructure for the future.
  • Simplifying and improving existing schemes and their application processes further from January 2021 to reduce the burden on farmers, and we will take a modern approach to regulation, cutting unnecessary red tape for farmers and working together with industry to design a more targeted regulatory system.

In a speech to farmers and environmental groups at an Oxford Farming Conference OFCBitesize event, Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “We want farmers to access public money to help their businesses become more productive and sustainable, while taking steps to improve the environment and animal welfare, and deliver climate change outcomes on the land they manage.”

For more information, go to Transition Plan.


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