The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has called on the new Environment Secretary, Thérèse Coffey, to improve the Environmental Land Management schemes (ELM).

The association is urging Coffey to “work quickly” to improve the schemes, as many farmers and landowners were “yet to be convinced” the schemes were right for their businesses, they said.

“We call on Dr. Coffey to work quickly to improve the schemes – not least by fast-tracking key elements of SFI (Sustainable Farming Incentive) standards and announcing measures for 2023 and beyond,” said CLA president, Mark Tufnell.

“This will give farmers the confidence they desperately need that [the] ELM can help them feed the nation as well as help to improve the natural environment.

“The UK government’s flagship ELM schemes set out an ambitious and welcome direction,” he added.

“However, many farmers are yet to be convinced the schemes are right for their business, not helped by very poor communication from ministers about their intentions for the schemes through the recent political chaos.”

Environment Secretary

Tufnell added that the CLA “warmly welcomes” Coffey to her new position.

Coffey was appointed to the role of Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs yesterday (Tuesday, October 25) following Ranil Jayawardena’s resignation and a cabinet reshuffling by new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

She is leaving her role in Liz Truss’ cabinet as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Deputy Prime Minister

Previously, she was Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions and Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.