Legislation that will safeguard the potential of agriculture has passed into UK law today (Wednesday, November 11).

The government’s Agriculture Bill was introduced to Parliament in January this year after previously having policies set down to farmers by the EU.

Beginning next year, farmers will have a seven-year transition period to adapt to a new agricultural system.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said:

“Our landmark Agriculture Act will transform the way we support farmers.

The funds released as a result of the phasing out of the legacy Basic Payment Scheme [BPS] will be re-invested into a roll out of our future farming policy, which will be centred around support aimed at incentivising sustainable farming practices, creating habitats for nature recovery and supporting the establishment of new woodland and other ecosystem services to help tackle challenges like climate change.

“We will support farmers in reducing their costs and improving their profitability, to help those who want to retire or leave the industry to do so with dignity, and to create new opportunities and support for new entrants coming in to the industry.

The government will now be able to further champion food production by improving the transparency and fairness in the supply chain from farm to fork, as well as keeping our world-famous food producers competitive and innovative by investing in the latest technology and research.

The government will also report on UK food security to Parliament every three years.

“The first report will be published at the end of next year, and will include analysis of the impacts on food supply of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a wide range of themes including global availability of food, food safety and consumer confidence,” concluded Eustice.