Thanks so much to everyone that participated in the post-Brexit British Agricultural Survey Consultation. A huge contribution of useful experiences and vital policy suggestions will now inform our detailed proposals for a post-Brexit Agricultual Policy. The experiences you (anonymously) shared will be used in documents and via social media to strengthen the case for a food and agricultural policy that works for us – ecological, community and socially motivated farmers.
- Policy Priorities: A summary of proposals and ideas from the Land Workers’ Alliance membership exploring how a British Agricultural Policy could work better for us. Click Here.
- Full Text Results: Direct responses in each policy ask. Click Here.
- Subsidies should not discriminate against small farms, with support for new entrants and capital costs being high priority.
- Ecosystems services of farming must be valued, particularly in mixed farming and forestry.
- A food and farming policy should be holistic in nature – considering ecology, biodiversity, education, health, community, productivity, local economies and social equality.
- Data on farming of all sizes should be easily accessible and include ecological, economic and social contributions of farming.
Policy Ideas and Proposals
The following summarises proposals and ideas from the Land Workers’ Alliance membership exploring how a British Agricultural Policy could work better for us. For a more detailed summary click here.
1) A New Subsidies System
- Enable subsidies for small farms by removing minimum areas, considering the type of farming and capping payments.
- Phase out Area Based Subsidies
- Strict Active Farming Clause
- Reward Environmental and Social Stewardship
- Increase availability of grants and low cost loans for new entrants, infrastructure development and farm expansion
- Implement progressive price protection
- Support farmers networks
- Support new entrants to the industry by bringing back council smallholdings and farms
- Financial support to employ apprentices, part time workers and to offer work placements
- Simplify access to information/systems including claiming, accessing grants and financial support and navigating legislature.
2) Improve Environmental Policy
- Polluter Pays Mechanisms so the burden (& cost) of inspections shifts more to non-organic farms.
- Catchment wide approaches to land management, particularly uplands management, for flood mitigation.
- Support practices that increase biodiversity and sequester carbon – such as mixed farming, hedgerows and minimal tillage.
- Ban inputs that have known environmental costs, such as glyphosate and neonicotinoids
- Recognise the role of forestry and ‘unproductive’ areas in sustainable land management
- Revoke the ban on pig swill
- Supporting the retention/return of small local abattoirs or mobile slaughterhouses
- Continue or reinstate previous Agri-Environment Schemes
3) Better Integration into wider policy
- Enable genuinely affordable housing options that enable farm workers to live in/near their workplace.
- Simplify the planning process for low impact agricultural dwellings
- Prioritise local food production in public procurement
- Promote and support short supply chain systems such as box schemes, markets and CSA’s, including food and forestry products
- Support to promote health and wellbeing activities on farm and within the local community.
- Clarity and regulation in labelling, including false farm labelling of supermarkets and GM
4) Appropriate Research and Innovation
- Ensure Policy Research is Democratic made up equally of academics, producers,buyers and partial observers
- Develop on farm initiative to research and monitor soil health and soil carbon sequestration
- Ensure that extension services are farmer-focused and not captured by corporate or government interests.
- Support innovation at all scales. In particular support small farm production, farmer-led research and regenerative practise
- Food hygiene standards should be appropriate to scale of sale and production.
- Improve data collection, particularly on soil health and biodiversity and the contribution farming at all scales can make to rural economies and communities.