Farmers are custodians of countryside

By Jane Campbell

30th November 2020

Sue Pritchard, Chief Executive of the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission said:

"We welcome the principles set out by George Eustice, Secretary of State for the Environment & Rural Affairs, today, seeing farmers both as custodians of countryside as well as food producers, putting nature-based farming at the heart of our future agricultural policy and tackling the productivity challenge in UK agriculture.

"DEFRA’s Agricultural Transition Plan is a helpful step on the road to better, fairer food and farming and the broad range of incentives could go some way to improving profitability for all types of farming enterprises across England. We are particularly pleased to see that the report recognises that sustainable farm businesses provide many different kinds of public benefits: affordable food, good quality jobs in thriving rural economies, carbon sequestration and of course a flourishing natural environment.

"But there is a lot more that could be done.

"Regenerative farming is but one piece of a fully joined-up agroecological food and farming system; it’s important to recognise that farm entrepreneurship requires investment in people and knowledge as well as in technologies. To make this work for everyone, we need tailored transition schemes that will develop people’s knowledge and skills, in both agroecological farming and in managing sustainable businesses. So we welcome the opportunity to work with government to make this a central pillar of future farming support."