New ELM scheme must be flexible and have farming at its heart, says NFU

Written by John Swire

The new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) must be flexible and have farming at its heart, the NFU said today, as the government consultation draws to a close.

The scheme is due to be rolled out in 2024, replacing the existing environmental schemes currently available under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Tom Bradshaw
Tom Bradshaw

NFU Vice President Tom Bradshaw said: “The consultation on the new ELMS has given us a great opportunity to get a range of views from our members through our website and in virtual meetings to form the basis of our submission to government.

“Although the consultation has provided an outline for a future scheme, many farmers expected more information on what that scheme will look like, particularly with pilots expected to start next year and the full ELMS roll-out in 2024. We urgently need Defra to provide further clarity.

“The NFU has always called for a smooth transition to future farm support post-Brexit and Defra needs to outline what schemes will be available during the transition before ELMS is fully available.

“Farms are dynamic businesses and the new ELMS must embrace that. It must be simple, flexible and accessible to all farmers and farm types across the country, allowing farmers and growers to choose what they want to deliver, whether that is improvements to soil, air or water quality, as well as habitats and wildlife, at the same time as producing food.

“Payments also need to provide an incentive to farmers to take part and reward them for what they deliver for the environment. Without viable farming businesses who will protect and enhance our countryside?

“If ELMS is properly designed, it could offer the UK farming industry a golden opportunity to achieve net zero and become a global leader in climate friendly food and farming. The NFU will continue to work with Defra on the scheme’s development.”

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Second demonstration planned as controversial Agricultural Bill is finalised

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Written by William Kellett

A campaign group for farmers is planning a second protest in Parliament Square in Westminster in response to the return of the controversial Agricultural Bill in the House of Commons.

The group Save British Farming (SBF) is planning to hold a second demonstration against the bill which they believe will lead to the introduction of lower food standards.

A “socially distanced” tractor demonstration is planned to take place next Monday (September 28).

The protest centers around the proposed introduction of free trade with countries like the US and they believe this will lead to ‘the opening of floodgates to lower-regulated food’.

A demonstration by SBF had...