Got an allotment? Get ready to once more Dig For Victory, as the new Agriculture Bill looks set to devastate Cornwall

Posted By on 13th September 2018

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This article has 3 comments

  1. Dear Editor

    I think your fears regarding agricultural production are exaggerated.

    We are heading for a No Deal Brexit, meaning we will be trading on WTO terms with the world as well as the EU. We are likely to retain the EU import tariffs on foods which we are able to produce ourselves (as well as zeroing our tariffs on foods which we cannot produce, making such foods somewhat cheaper) and apply them to EU imports, too.
    These tariffs will Create strong incentives for UK farmers to increase production and substitute for food imports in all sectors.
    In the absence of the new farming policy that would have resulted in another shift towards chemical farming and away from environmentally friendly, ideally organic farming.

    These incentives combined with the new farming policy is likely to produce a thriving organic sector able to produce much more of our food than we manage now.

    Incidentally, EU import tariffs will also mean that our upland sheep farmers will lose some of their markets and will have to re-orientate themselves both environmentally and production wise towards a much more self-sufficiency style of farming, including the reforestation of uphill areas for carbon sequestration, renewable energy, building material, wildlife, flood prevention, tourism and similar.

    Paul Sousek

  2. Dear Editor

    I was delighted to see Michael Gove present the Agriculture Bill in the Commons this week, setting out how the government plans to deliver a cleaner and healthier environment for future generations after nearly 50 years under EU rules.

    The EU operates an ineffective and skewed subsidy system where farmers are given direct payments based on the size of their land, not taking into account any benefits to the public.

    Leaving the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy offers a perfect opportunity to create a fairer and more ambitious system, which will bring great benefits to farmers and the public in Cornwall and the wider South West while protecting and enhancing the environment.

    In future, farmers and land managers will be paid for ‘public goods’ like better air and water quality, improved soil health, higher animal welfare standards, access to the countryside and measures to reduce flooding.

    Those who provide the greatest environmental benefits will get the biggest rewards.

    The new system will also help farmers to introduce new technologies, increase productivity, get a better deal in the marketplace and take a lead on research projects.

    Importantly, there will be a seven-year transition period from 2020 to help them plan ahead.

    There are already examples where a real focus on the environment is working, such as the Exmoor Ambition hill farming project to enhance the area’s landscapes and communities after Brexit.

    The Agriculture Bill will build on this and secure a brighter future for farmers in Cornwall.

    Cllr Simon Elliott
    Cornwall councillor for the Ludgvan Division

  3. What makes me so mad is that a lot of people with the experience and knowledge have shown that it is possible to grow food and care for the environment but it does not require vast inputs of chemicals from the agrochemical companies, so it will be thwarted. Our soils are denigrated and our wildlife decimated because we work against nature, not with it. Meanwhile, 4 or 4 large corporations make obscene amounts of money by selling poison and, doubtless, make vast contributions to the morally bankrupt political parties that run our western, so-called democracies.

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