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Future of Farming After UK Brexit
« on: November 07, 2017, 01:34:56 PM »
Former Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Chair Baroness McIntosh writes in advance of her Parliamentary question today on "Discussions with farming organisations about the future of farm support post-Brexit".

Currently, Membership of the European Union provides a market of 505 million consumers as well as support for British farmers.

This support takes the form of direct farm payments and environmental stewardship schemes.

Brexit means changes on a scale we have not seen for over 40 years. There could arguably be put forward a scheme similar to that of deficency payments which existed before 1973.

Alternatively, the Government could look to loosen the link between support and food production and reward farmers for environmental schemes which benefit the local community such as planting trees or temporarily storing water on their land.

Pickering Slow the Flow Scheme could be the model for such schemes providing public good. Work is ongoing also to set a price on certain activities by recognising and putting a value on the natual capital of the countryside.

What is certain is that hill farmers and others farming in the uplands and less favoured areas will continue to need support or be encouraged to produce more food such as beef, diary and lambs to stimulate greater consumption at home.

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