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Clear vision set by Michael Gove MP at CLA conference

The Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove MP, gave the key note address at the CLA’s London Rural Business conference on Tuesday.  He made it clear that agriculture will need to stand on its own two feet without the support of subsidy payments, but that public funding will be given for the delivery of public goods, particularly the environment.

Mr Gove said he saw a strong future for agricultural commodities sold on the basis of quality, provenance and an ethical approach.  He pointed to the uptake of new technology and innovative approaches being vital to enable the productivity gains that will help with profitability.  His concern to create environmental sustainability particularly focussed on soils.  He pointed out that 84% of fertile peat top soil had been lost in East Anglia – a situation that must be address for farming’s own sake.

When asked by Scottish Land & Estates whether the delivery of environmental benefits would be similar to the top-down agri-environment schemes we are used to or whether they will be “bottom-up”, involving those who work the land in local scheme design, he said the latter and pointed to work done by Dartmoor Farming Futures       

To read  Environment Secretary speech: CLA Rural Business Conference click here...


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