It’s a worrying time for farmers as we move to a new system of paying farmers public money for public goods, post Brexit, but there are new opportunities too.
I meet regularly with farmers in different parts of the constituency to hear their concerns and make sure that I take their messages straight to the Secretary of State. I will continue to work with the farming community to maintain and grow this essential sector.
For upland farmers there is a great sense of responsibility to maintain the beautiful landscape of the North York Moors National Park and there are many concerns over the conditions of stewardship schemes, which cause disruption and cost to their business. For other farmers there is concern about the new system of payments and how this will affect them in the short, medium and longer term; future free trade agreements post Brexit; and how they will be able to make a profit from all their hard work.
I am pleased that the Government has pledged to continue to commit the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of this parliament in 2022 and for a number of years beyond during an implementation period. It’s important that farmers receive a decent level of support to continue the fantastic work they do producing high quality foodstuffs and maintaining the countryside including the hedges and dry-stone walls which we all enjoy.
The Secretary of State has published a Command Paper, titled Health and Harmony, and I would encourage farmers to take part in the consultation which closes at 11:45pm on 8 May 2018.