I understand there are some concerns regarding the future of farming and in particular, the protection of the environment. Agriculture accounts for over 70% of land use in the UK, and has a major influence on our environment.
Exiting the European Union offers the UK the opportunity to reform agriculture, allowing us to design a more rational and sensitive agriculture policy which promotes environmental enhancement, supports profitable food production and contributes to a healthier society.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is currently running a consultation about the future of food, farming and the environment. This document states that 'we will prepare to move to a new system which puts environmental outcomes at the heart of government support.' It goes on to say that the Department will work with farmers, land managers and environmental experts to trial new approaches to enhance our environment.
As well as enhancing and retaining the natural beauty of our environment, the Department is consulting on plans to ensure that we have clean air and plentiful water, that plants and wildlife thrive in their natural habitats, that the use of natural resources is more sustainable and efficient and that we adapt to and mitigate climate change.
Efficient and sustainable agriculture practices will help secure a better future for our environment and I am pleased that the Government is making progress in this area.