We welcome Defra’s Transition Plan, its framework, reach and its level of ambition”, comments AIC Chief Executive Robert Sheasby.

Announcing The Path to Sustainable Farming: An Agricultural Transition Plan 2021-2024 today, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice emphasised that because these policy developments are aimed at tomorrow’s farmers as well as those of today there was no room for area-based payments.

“We recognise that fundamental changes are going to be made to the way English agricultural businesses are supported”, continues Mr Sheasby, “and we are ready to work with these proposals.  In fact we are already involved in delivering one of the ELMs pilots and our members represent a significant pool of the advisors who will be invaluable in delivering the environmental goods, net zero and productivity gains this transition seeks to achieve”.

“However we must make sure that the policy is attributed across all the devolved nations”, concludes Mr Sheasby, “as our competitiveness will be crucial as we move to trading as a sovereign nation.  We believe Defra must maintain accessibility to all farmers in as many aspects of the transition plan as possible, ensuring that outcomes on food production are central to the plan.  And finally we would like to see clarity in the budget for the period post 2024 as farm businesses will be implementing plans well ahead of that date”