Landmark Agriculture Bill becomes law - Defra

Transformative legislation setting out how farmers and land managers in England will be rewarded in future with public money for “public goods” passes into law

Legislation that will unleash the potential of agriculture has passed into UK law today (11 November).

The Government’s landmark Agriculture Bill was introduced to Parliament in January this year, providing a boost to industry after years of inefficient and overly bureaucratic policy dictated to farmers by the EU. The Bill will empower our farmers and land managers, and make sure that we can reward them properly for the good work that they do. The Bill will help farmers stay competitive, increase productivity, invest in new technology and seek a fairer return from the marketplace.

Beginning next year, farmers will have a seven year transition period to adapt to a new agricultural system. Further details will be announced in late November.

The Agriculture Bill sets out how farmers and land managers in England will be rewarded in the future with public money for “public goods” – such as better air and water quality, thriving wildlife, soil health, or measures to reduce flooding and tackle the effects of climate change, under the Environmental Land Management scheme. These incentives will provide a powerful vehicle for achieving the goals of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and our commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

This new system will replace the poorly targeted Basic Payment Scheme subsidy system, which largely pays farmers for the total amount of land farmed and has skewed payments towards the largest landowners, rather than rewarding farmers for any specific public benefits.

Posted on: 11 November 2020

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