Nature-friendly farmers call for radical policy overhaul post-Brexit
Brexit is a once in a lifetime opportunity to ensure British farmers have the systems and policies in place to grow affordable, healthy food whilst restoring biodiversity and reversing soil declines. In February, the Government launched the 'Health and Harmony: The Future for Food, Farming and the Environment in a Green Brexit' consultation. This paper outlined the future direction for policies post-Brexit and opened a 10-week consultation period, giving farmers a unique chance to shape the future of farming policy. After supporting the Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN) with its launch in January, Greenhouse has been working with the network to share its response to Defra’s Command Paper with a farmer survey, media relations and social activity.
Calling for radical policy changeGreenhouse worked with the Nature Friendly Farming Network to design a survey that asked farmers what they want from agricultural policy post-Brexit. The survey revealed overwhelming support for a radical overhaul of agricultural policy. However, in spite of Secretary of State, Michael Gove’s promises to use ‘public money for public goods’, many farmers are still concerned that the Government will fail to deliver on its promised reform.
- Nine out of ten (89%) nature friendly farmers in the UK believe that now is the moment for radical change in agricultural policy to ensure sustainable and profitable food production in the UK, whilst caring for the environment.
- Almost half (47%) of those surveyed are pessimistic and don’t feel confident that the Government will deliver the farming policy required to create positive environmental change.
- 96% of respondents want high environmental standards to be a key requirement of future trade deals – to combat the threat of cheap imports.
- Eight out of ten (79%) believe that the governments in each of the UK countries should cooperate to put the environment at the centre of future farming policy, through a common framework.
- 93% say that it is crucial to maintain at least the current level of investment, refocused to deliver better value for money, to ensure a thriving sustainable agriculture sector in the UK.
- All of the farmers surveyed (98%) called for a greater understanding of the critical role that farming plays in protecting the environment and delivering public goods.