Farming organisations propose ‘Sustainable Food and Farming Scheme’ to government
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has joined with other farming organisations to set out proposals for future government policy that can form the foundation of sustainable farming in England for generations to come.
The proposed Sustainable Food and Farming Scheme is one that the NFU believes should form the scope and approach of the government’s forthcoming ELMs programme.
The proposal sets out that the new scheme should command the interest of the vast majority of farmers and land managers, and each agreement should be driven by the aspiration and capability of each farm business.
A joint statement from the organisations said:
Farmers, growers and land managers across the country are passionate about their dual role as food producers and custodians of the countryside. We want to be known at home and abroad for the standards of our environmental, land and livestock management.
“This proposal sets out key elements of what we think a successful public benefit scheme should look like. It’s important as ELMs will be a key part of the new agricultural policy.
“As representatives of British farming, we wanted to produce a scheme that can provide a roadmap for government of how to best harness the potential of British agriculture to produce food and care for our environment, wildlife, land and animals.”
‘Face the dilemma’
The statement continued:
Fundamentally, we do not want farmers or land managers to face the dilemma of producing food or conserving their land. Our shared goal is that farming should be to grow food, fibre and energy, while delivering more for the environment and biodiversity.
“That is why our Sustainable Food and Farming Scheme outlines how farming can be both competitive and environmentally responsible, incentivising actions that grow productivity with less environmental impact. It is, in a word, sustainable.
“We all truly want to work with government to make sure our future agricultural policy can deliver for the British public for decades to come.
“We already have fantastic standards, from our environmental delivery to our animal welfare, but we are eager to do more. We believe this scheme provides the foundation to do just that.”