It states an 'Agri-Environment Package' will form a "central plank" within the overall portfolio of farm support measures, adding that financial incentives for the schemes must be "sufficiently attractive" to encourage large-scale uptake."...Farmers and land managers [must be] able to make an economic return on the environmental assets that they manage appropriately, with the environment being seen as another on-farm enterprise within an overall sustainable farming model," it reads.
Under this approach, the environment will move to become a profit centre rather than a cost centre within the farm business for those who partake in the programme."The proposals will require schemes to be designed and partnership delivery models redesigned to meet encourage industry buy-in and scheme success. It also calls for "appropriate, proportionate, properly communicated and fairly enforced" environmental regulations to ensure that agricultural practices do not have negative environmental consequences.
The document goes on to suggest market-led initiatives will also encourage better environmental sustainability on farms, and will allow the industry to capitalise on any market advantage that better environmental performance creates.It states this is an area that must be "rigorously explored" and pursued, particularly by the food processing sector. "Moving forward, it is clear that direct engagement in driving environmental sustainability will not be an optional activity for any part of the wider food supply chain, and early action will confer 'first-mover' advantage," it adds.