LEAF responds to Defra's agricultural transition roadmap

As the Government unveils plans for the ‘Path to Sustainable Farming’ ahead of Brexit transition period ending on 31st December, LEAF sets out its response

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''We warmly welcome the Secretary of State’s announcement today revealing the road map to a new system of payments for farmers, which will reward the delivery of environmental goods and services.

We are in a climate and nature emergency – an emergency which will have a profound impact on our environment and agriculture. This is a landmark moment for post-Brexit farming and represents the biggest shake up to the agricultural sector for more than 50 years. The new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) offers a golden opportunity for the UK to become a global leader in integrated, regenerative, climate friendly food and farming and achieve net zero.

We welcome the government’s bold and ambitious approach to transforming our farming and food systems and are extremely encouraged to see a clear commitment to the core approaches to sustainability that have been at the heart of LEAF’s work: whole farm, nature-based, Integrated Pest Management, improving soil management and protecting our valuable natural resources. Co-design of the detail going forward is key. It is encouraging that Defra has recognised much of the great work delivered by our farmers as well as embracing many of the industry’s ideas for sustainable farming and food production in designing this new agricultural policy for England.

For more than three decades, LEAF farmers and members have been committed to driving change and delivering more sustainable farming through Integrated Farm Management, which fuses the best of traditional farming with precision farming technology and advances in pest control across the whole farm. LEAF’s new 10-year strategy, chimes well with this new Government policy and we look forward to working alongside Government and others in the co-design of the detailed schemes. This is about transforming farming and food systems through climate positive action. Delivering thriving, resilient and agroecological farming.

This is a landmark moment and offers huge opportunity for the farming industry. During the next seven transition years, as the new ELMS is gradually phased in, we look forward to playing a central role in supporting farmers through the new Agricultural Transition Plan, with its focus on Integrated Pest Management strategies, soil health, catchment sensitive farming, environmental protection and reaching net zero.”

LEAF’s 10-year strategy 2021-2031 ‘LEAF for the Future’ was unveiled at its Annual Conference on 20th November 2020. The strategy launch video can be viewed here