Following the announcement of a consultation into the administration of direct payments and a lump sum exit payment for farmers who may be looking to leave the industry, the NFU’s vice president Tom Bradshaw has responded.
Mr Bradshaw said: “The NFU wants to see a domestic agricultural policy that allows farm businesses to thrive, rewarding them for both the safe, traceable and affordable food they produce for the nation and their extensive work caring for the countryside.
“As our agricultural support is overhauled, farm businesses across the country will be making life-changing decisions about the future of their farm or tenancy. We want to see a fair transition that allows farmers who are considering leaving the industry to have sufficient time and information to make those significant decisions.
“We must also recognise the personal nature of this decision and how no two farm businesses are the same, meaning each set of circumstances for a farmer considering a lump sum exit payment will be truly unique. We will now be consulting with our members extensively to understand their views on these proposals.
“Of course, any discussion around people exiting the industry must be coupled with how we attract new people into agriculture. It’s crucial that the schemes announced today work in a coherent way with schemes such as the New Entrant Scheme and Future Farm Resilience Fund to ensure British farming has a thriving workforce for generations to come.
“While getting the framework of future agricultural policy schemes right is important, Defra’s policy transition must not ignore the consequences of the government’s new trade deals as these will be absolutely critical to the viability of many family farms. Trade and policy must act in tandem.”