This weekend, we joined 54 other NGOs in signing an open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, asking her to keep her clear commitment to restoring the natural environment we all rely upon by ensuring the forthcoming Agriculture Bill secures the public goods society needs.
By public goods, we mean the benefits that we all gain from a healthy, beautiful natural environment. Benefits such as healthier soils to grow our food in and support our natural ecosystem; cleaner water, managed in a way that reduces the risk of flooding downstream; land management that supports pollinators and other wildlife that help keep our natural environment balanced and productive; access to beautiful places to walk in and enjoy; our ancient heritage protected for future generations to marvel at.
The market doesn’t pay for benefits like these, as it does for farmers’ produce. So the Government has committed, repeatedly, to rethinking how farmers are incentivised when we leave the European Union, and refocusing public subsidies on these public goods.
As we await the entry of the Agriculture Bill in Parliament in the next few weeks, together we urge the Prime Minister, and her whole Government, to take this once in a lifetime opportunity to shape a positive, sustainable, future for farming and the environment that underpins everything.
Read the letter in full here: Coalition Agriculture Bill letter to the Prime Minister August 2018
Take a look at associated news coverage in The Times here: Ensure farm cash after Brexit is green, National Trust urges
Listen again to Martin Harper, RSPB Conservation Director, talking about the letter on the Today Programme (at 1:14:10) and read more from him on his blog here: Agriculture Bill – falling at the final hurdle?
Find out more about our views on our website here: Brexit and the future of farming