Farmers ask for immediate action on red tape

Farming leaders have urged the government to act quickly on its promise to slash red tape for the industry.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) praised the government for committing to adopt many of the recommendations in the Farming Regulation Task Force report, but said that farmers wanted to see “swifter action”.

NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond said: “This response is good news for the farming industry, but we also recognise that the industry must play a full part in this process. The NFU made a significant input to Richard Macdonald’s Task Force, and we are pleased that so many of our principles can be found in Defra’s response.
“However, many farm businesses will be disappointed with the slow speed of delivery in the 10 months since the Task Force report was originally published. Farms will be looking for regulatory burdens to be lifted as soon as possible.”

Raymond added that farmers were disappointed at the lack of an implementation plan and that farming’s previous experience of deregulation commitments had not bred confidence that farmers would benefit from the proposals.
“But now is not the time for cynicism; this is the best chance of achieving a better-regulated industry and supporting productive, profitable farming. So the NFU will be working with Defra Ministers and officials to lead with action across government departments and in the EU. We will support the report’s implementation and continue to play a full role, actively promoting action within the industry,” he concluded.

The government published its response to the Farming Regulation Task Force report yesterday, promising to take action on 86% of the independent panel’s original recommendations.

However, Paice told press at the NFU Conference that change would not be immediate: "I fully recognise there are people out there hoping to wake up tomorrow morning and like a blinding flash will not have to do most of the things they're already doing. That won't happen," he said.

However, he added: "I'm determined to be as bold as we can in implementing the recommendations over the coming months."