Reasons to choose Wilson Browne
On 2 December 2021, Environment Secretary George Eustice set out his vision for farming, pointing out the importance of the food industry to the government’s levelling-up agenda.
In his speech, he mentioned the imminent release of more details of the three schemes under the Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme.
The initial roll-out of the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) will focus on soil health for 2022 and the government confirmed that it will pay a more generous payment rate than previous EU schemes.
The importance of farmers and domestic food production was emphasised in the context of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
The government’s approach would be to support farmers rather than telling them what to do and to create a simpler, less bureaucratic scheme to incentivise farmers who embrace sustainable practices.
The new challenges mean that a different system of rewards and incentives in agriculture must be established. The government has therefore chosen not to remove the budget but to re-purpose it.
The SFI is one of three elements of the Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme which replaces the Basic Payment Scheme. The other two elements are Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery, further details of which will be released in 2022.
Finally, it was announced that the government is planning to increase Countryside Stewardship rates from 2022.