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Link’s Agriculture Working Group seeks to conserve the natural and historic environment and improve animal welfare by seeking improvements to agriculture and land management policy.

Chair: Christopher Price, Rare Breeds Survival Trust
Vice Chair: Alice Groom, RSPB
Link: Hannah Conway, Policy Officer

Update from the group:

The Agriculture Act is now law, and it is a clear achievement for the sector –through our work with Greener UK- that we were able to embed the principle of ‘public money for public goods’ in law. This represents a seismic shift in the way that we understand farming and land management. Unfortunately, some of the amendments that we supported didn’t pass the second commons stage, most notably protecting food standards in trade deals.

In parallel, we are influencing the policies that will flow from the Act. We have just published a position paper which restates the ‘key principles’ that Link would like to see in the agricultural transition period (which covers the period between 2021-2024 before Environmental Land Management scheme (ELM)is rolled out), as well as ELM and the wider Future Farming and Countryside Programme. This was a follow-up to our response to the ELM Policy Discussion Document, where we critiqued Defra’s proposals for its flagship policy, ELM. Overall, the ambition needs to be amped up significantly, particularly for the Sustainable Farming Incentive, if we are to meet our climate and environmental goals. There should be a much greater focus on delivery of integrated outcomes and whole-system approaches that enable production of sustainable food and timber whilst delivering tangible benefits for people, nature and climate. Furthermore, reform of the agricultural regulatory and enforcement system, as recommended by Dame Glenys Stacey in 2018, is urgently needed to underpin investment of public money.

For further information, contact Hannah Conway, Link’s Policy Officer.

Last updated: 30/7.21

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