The Landworkers’ Alliance (LWA) is looking to work with the British Government to ensure small-scale, traditional, and family farmers are not forgotten following the news that Britain will leave the EU. The LWA is looking into how the British food and agricultural policy can support producers, protect the environment and provide healthy and nutritious food for everyone.
The UK’s small-scale and family farms are at the heart of our rural culture and communities. They create employment, protect cherished landscapes and provide a huge amount of the food we eat. However, under Defra’s implementation of the CAP, many small farms were unfairly disadvantaged. The Landworkers’ Alliance is ready to work with government to ensure that this discrimination does not continue under national agricultural policy.
In light of this, The Landworkers’ Alliance calls on Defra to commit now to supporting a multifunctional, diverse and ecologically sustainable food and agricultural strategy in the coming years.
Adam Payne, a farmer in Dorset, said: “We want Defra to take this opportunity to redesign agricultural policy for the better – now is the moment to reverse the ongoing discrimination by ensuring that farmers, no matter what acreage they farm, are equally supported in policy, and able to operate on a level playing field, with protection from global price volatility and the aggressive behaviour of distributors and supermarkets.”
Ed Hamer, a grower in Devon, said: “By highlighting to the public that the average UK farmer receives 50 percent of their income in subsidies the referendum campaign has shone a welcome spotlight on the inherently biased nature of our food system. We would like to ensure that when a national food policy is finally adopted it will no longer undermine the livelihoods of those of us who choose to farm outside that framework – but will instead represent a truly balanced and progressive future for farming culture.”
We now expect a period of uncertainty over the next 12-24 months as Defra re-orientates its agenda and priorities towards a national food and agricultural policy. Throughout this period the LWA will use our lobbying opportunities to raise the profile and the concerns of our membership in an effort to achieve a truly representative national agriculture agenda.