Speaking at the Oxford Farming on Thursday morning, Mr Barclay set out further details of the Government’s food and farming policy in what is expected to be an election year.
This includes consulting on making food labelling clearer to help consumers and ‘make sure British farmers following high welfare standards are fairly rewarded’.
“I am delighted that from the start of this year all geographical indication products made and sold in Great Britain will be using our UK GI logo, which protects the geographical names of food and drink. UK producers will also be able to use this logo on products sold abroad, which will help even more of your product stand out from the crowd both at home and overseas.”
NFU Vice President David Exwood welcomed much of what was announced, including increased SFI payments for 2024 and a raft of new options such as support for precision farming and uplands and moorlands. The new actions being made available under SFI will provide further clarity which is much needed by farming businesses in order to plan for the future, he said.
“Confirmation of plans to build on the Countryside Stewardship scheme (CS) with a developed and improved offer for 2024 is also welcome including further new and enhanced options for access and wildfire management.
“However, we still have more questions than answers around the deliverability of these new options. It remains hugely frustrating that nearly six years on from the Health and Harmony consultation, which set farming in England on a path towards public goods for public payments, government is still a long way behind on its commitments.
“With a minimum of 50% reduction in direct payments due in 2024, the tapering of payments to 2027 continues to be very concerning. We urgently need business critical detail on how farmers and growers will smoothly transition from existing agreements to the new offer.”