Agriculture Bill to 'liberate' UK agrifood, claims Michael Gove

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save

Michael Gove

Gove will present his long-awaited Agriculture Bill to parliament later today

Environment secretary Michael Gove has pledged to “liberate” the UK agrifood sector and invest in the environment ahead of the unveiling of his long-awaited Agriculture Bill later today.

The new system of “public money for public goods” will be presented to parliament this afternoon and would support a ‘green Brexit’ and deliver better environmental outcomes, Gove said. This would allow the UK to “take back control for farmers after almost 50 years under EU rules”.

The legislation will include the gradual abolition of “ineffective” Common Agriculture Policy direct payments to farmers over a seven-year transition period. The payments will be replaced by a new Environmental Land Management system, which will be phased in from the beginning of next year. It will pay the agriculture sector based on how it contributes to improving aspects such as air and water quality, soil health and animal welfare standards.

Defra said the bill would also set out how the government would “strengthen transparency in the supply chain to help farmers get a better deal in the marketplace”.

Funding will also be made available for farmers to develop and “get the research projects that they want and need, whether that be on soil health or sustainable livestock farming”, Defra said. Farmers would also get payments to invest in new technologies and methods that boosted productivity.

This would lead to practical gains for farmers that helped them become “more profitable and reduce their environmental footprint”.

“This bill will allow us to reward farmers who protect our environment, leaving the countryside in a cleaner, greener and healthier state for future generations,” Gove said.

“Critically, we will also provide the smooth and gradual transition that farmers and land managers need to plan ahead.”

The publication of the bill comes amid growing speculation over the government’s Brexit negotiating position and the future of prime minister Theresa May, following rumours of a rebellion by hard-line Brexit-supporting MPs who favour a no-deal scenario.

Meanwhile a report published by the National Audit Office yesterday warned Defra would not be ready for a no-deal Brexit and had “missed a high proportion of its project milestones”.

It paid particular concern to its failure to strengthen its control and enforcement activities in English fishing waters, its negotiations with 154 non-EU countries to agree the acceptance of UK versions of over 1,400 export health certificates, and a failure to significantly increase the UK’s veterinary capacity.

But in response on the BBC’s Today Programme this morning, Gove said Defra was preparing for “every eventuality”, and was increasing the number of vets available.

“We won’t have food rotting or animals being destroyed by the side of the road,” he said.

Have your say

Sign up to a Free 30 day Gold Membership Trial

  • Claim your free trial >>
  • You will be able to:

    - Comment on your industry
    - Read the latest category information
    - Find out more on consumer behaviours to technological advances

    You must sign in to make a comment

    • Print
    • Share
    • Comment
    • Save

    Grocer jobs Experts in FMCG

    Krispy Kreme National Account Manager

    National Account Manager - Krispy Kreme

    circa £45,000 - £50,000pa (dependent on experience) plus £5k car allowance, and 15% Bonus potential
    Search jobs
    Sign in

    Newsletter Sign-up

    Free

    I wish to receive the following newsletters:

    For Members

    Become a Gold Member to receive these newsletters:

    Become a Platinum Member to receive these newsletters:

    Become a member of The Grocer

    Need more than 5 subscriptions? Make your life easier with a Corporate Account. Find out more.

    FOLLOW THE GROCER


    -

     
    Yes!I want to read more     CLAIM FREE TRIAL NOW
     
    Sign up to a 30 day free trial
    CLAIM FREE TRIAL NOW