ARCHIVE: Farm regulation and charging: Background
The Farm Regulation and Charging Strategy forms an integral part of the Government’s overarching Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food (SFFS). The SFFS is a comprehensive long term-plan for the future development of the farming and food sectors. It identifies how the Government will work with the whole of the food chain to secure a sustainable future for English farming and food. At the heart of the strategy is a drive to make farmers more market- and less subsidy-focused, while managing their businesses in more environmentally and socially sustainable ways.
Improving the long-term sustainability of farming in the UK is crucial to the industry’s future. To achieve this goal, farmers face a number of challenges, including most notably:
- Tackling water pollution. Most diffuse pollution of rivers and waterways comes from agriculture, and cleaning up drinking water alone costs the consumer at least £211 million per year.
- Managing better the risks and consequences of animal diseases, for example by improving the traceability of livestock, in order to achieve the vision set out in the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy for Great Britain.
Recent CAP reform has brought farmers closer to the market and, therefore, it is time for us to reappraise our relationship with industry at this time of transition.
The farming sector is mainly made up of small businesses. We need to take greater account of the nature of the sector and the cumulative impacts imposed by regulation.
The Defra Regulation Taskforce report, published in 2004, highlighted the need for a new approach to the regulation of farming. More recently, the Government accepted the findings of two further Better Regulation initiatives published with the 2005 Budget, the Hampton Review on inspection and enforcement and the Better Regulation Task Force Less is More report. [see key commitments]
Throughout the Strategy’s development we have worked closely with farmers, farming representatives, and wider rural interests. This has helped us build a picture of the situation on the ground to inform and underpin the Strategy. The individual proposals referred to in the Strategy will of course be subject to public consultation in the normal way.
Defra gathered evidence directly from farmers, through discussion groups, on farm case studies and a telephone survey, on the impact and performance of farm regulation at farm level. In conjunction with this, we have consulted with livestock farmers via Defra’s Livestock Technical Groups, giving farmers the opportunity to comment and advise on the evidence base of the Strategy via email correspondence.
Numbers of farmers consulted:
- Over 100 involved in detailed discussion
- 22 on-farm, detailed case studies, covering all sectors
- 734 via a telephone survey
Page last modified: 28 November 2005
Page published: 28 November 2005