NFU Vice President Tom Bradshaw has criticsed the the Government for the lack of information given regarding the future farming support scheme announced earlier this week by George Eustice at the Oxford Farming Conference.
“There are still a number of questions that need answers, not least the costs farmers are likely to incur from participating in these new schemes and how the schemes are accessible right across the country and for every farmer,” said Mr Bradshaw.
“Currently there appears to be a lack of options for tenant farmers to get involved and this must be addressed as a matter of urgency.
“It is also clear that neither Local Nature Recovery or Landscape Recovery will be widely available to farmers over the next three years, making it difficult to replace the falling income from BPS. To remedy this, farmers must have more detail about the new Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI), specifically when will SFI ‘early rollout’ be launched this year and how quickly can the SFI offer be increased to enable greater uptake, so they can make the important decisions needed now which will affect their business for years to come.
“Only by ensuring these schemes incentivise sustainable food production, allow every farm business to be involved, and pay farmers fairly for the costs they incur, will they attract the participation the government envisages to deliver our collective environmental and net zero ambitions
“At a time when public support for British food and farming is at a high, our biggest concern is that these schemes result in reduced food production in the UK, leading to the need to import more food from countries with production standards that would be illegal for our farmers here. This simply off-shores our production and any environmental impacts that go with it and would be morally reprehensible.”