Rock Farm salad patch and polytunnels.. Credit: James Woodward

Rock Farm salad patch and polytunnels.. Credit: James Woodward

The following approaches will help to ensure new entrants and progressive farmers can thrive under a new farming and trading regime:

  • Redistributed support - Investigate the best way to achieve the fairest and most effective distribution of future support – such as a limit or tapering of support per enterprise - so that the farm support budget is more evenly shared between larger and smaller farms.
  • Targeted support - Ensure that only active farmers are eligible for on-going support and that schemes are targeted and designed to ensure active farmers on small to medium sized farms get adequate support for delivery of public goods
  • Recognition of systems approach in new payments - Recognise the benefits to the environment of whole farm ecologically based approaches which are likely to appeal to (smaller) farms unable, on economic grounds, to take large areas of land out of production
  • Directed research and development - Invest in supply chain innovation for smaller and medium-sized farm businesses to improve market access so they can remain commercially viable
  • Concentrating investment - Provide accessible and well-advertised grants, low/no interest loans or loan guarantees targeted to smaller and medium-sized farm business to deliver specific tools to maintain or boost important sectors
  • Delivering training, mentoring and advice - delivery of affordable training, advisory services and farmer-to-farmer mentoring to provide a coherent joined-up service accessible to smaller and medium-sized farms
  • Data gathering and monitoring – Regularly monitor the sector and present better data on size and structure and analysis of the changes in farm numbers and diversity in England.
  • Review issues of access to land - Review issues including land prices, new models for tenancy, security of tenure, planning issues and loss of county farm estates.

Background briefing - The need to support action on farm diversity, 2018

Supported by: CPRE, Family Farmers Association, Friends of the Earth, Landworkers Alliance, New Economics Foundation, Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, Tenant Farmers Association.

Sustainable Farming Campaign: Sustain encourages integration of sustainable food and farming into local, regional and national government policies.

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