Wide-ranging examples of red tape and gold-plated regulations will form part of the NFU’s submission to government after it announced the start of its consultation to reduce the burdens of regulation on English farmers and growers.
The new industry-led task force was launched by Agriculture Minister Jim Paice back in June and will be headed up by former NFU Director General Richard Macdonald.
He will be responsible for a detailed review of the relevant regulations and their implementation, with the task force seeking to make the system of regulation surrounding food and farming more risk-based in the future.
Over the past few years the NFU has identified many areas of regulation that it believes could be improved. They include:
· Reducing the burden of on-farm inspections through greater co-ordination and data sharing between government departments
· The simplification of livestock movements, preserving traceability and disease prevention, but ensuring they are workable, understandable and consistently applied across the country.
· A change to the fly-tipping regulations to allow farmers to remove fly-tipped waste from their private land without the need to pay licensed waste carriers or landfill charges. This would help cope with the estimated forty seven million pound cost resulting from illegal tipping on private land.
· The removal of hedgerow regulations. As hedgerow-loss is no longer a problem this outdated regulation could be scrapped. With forty two per cent of English hedges in environment schemes, farmers and growers are also tackling hedgerow management.
NFU President Peter Kendall said:
“Farmers repeatedly cite the cumulative burden of regulation as a key barrier to increased productivity. The NFU has long lobbied for a reduction in costly red tape arguing that moving to a risk-based approach is the only answer.
Farmers and growers have also worked hard at supporting voluntary measures, such as the VI and the Campaign for the Farmed Environment, as a way of reducing costly regulation. One area where government could streamline the amount of times a farmer is inspected is by utilising the current Farm Assurance inspection.
We hope the review is able to achieve its aims and ensure the regulatory environment for the agricultural industry is focused on outcomes, risk-based solutions and proportionate enforcement. This will help to ensure we have a competitive food and farming industry in the future.
We look forward to engaging with Defra and the Task Force over the coming weeks.”