• Future of Small and Medium-scale Farming

    03 May 2018

    Dear Constituent

    Thank you for contacting me about the future of small and medium-scale farming.

    Food and farming is a bedrock of our economy and environment, generating £112 billion a year and helping shape some of our finest habitats and landscapes. Smaller farmers play a vital part in preserving our countryside and keeping rural economies healthy.

    I am pleased that the Government will continue to commit the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of this Parliament. An agricultural transition period will allow farmers to prepare for a new system and adjust their businesses. This will involve moving away from the current model of payments determined by the size of land holdings, and will therefore present opportunities for smaller-scale farms.

    In England the agricultural transition will lead to a new system of paying farmers public money for public goods. This will principally be environmental enhancement, but Ministers are also considering what other areas could constitute public goods and be supported under the new system, including rural resilience. Efforts will also be made to simplify the inspection regime, reducing burdens that fall disproportionately on smaller-scale farms.

    The Government is consulting widely with farmers and others on its proposals. Starting from first principles we can bring in innovative new ideas to support investment in healthy, sustainable British food production and do much better for farming, our environment and animal welfare. I am convinced that we will harness the opportunities available to us from our withdrawal from the EU and ensure that our best days as a food and farming nation lie ahead of us.

    Leaving the EU creates a once in a generation opportunity to design a domestic agricultural policy that will stand the test of time.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely

    Mel Stride

    MP for Central Devon

    Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General