Radical changes to agricultural policies are set to be announced today by Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers in the first major review in decades
Mrs Villiers will deliver the key note speech on the second day of the Oxford Farming Conference and is expected to confirm the introduction of the landmark Agricultural Bill this month.
The Bill will move the industry onto a “public money for public goods” system as the UK leave the common market, public goods will include enhancing biodiversity, tackling climate change and raising standards of animal welfare.
There will be a seven-year transition period while direct payments are phased out, and the Government will launch a consultation with farmers and landowners on what will be known as Environmental Land Management scheme (ELM).
Having faith in the farm sector, The Right Reverend Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, Bishop of Ripon joins speakers at the Oxford Farming Conference
It is a time of change for UK farming and one that will need careful navigation, investment and support - Sophie McCandlish
Mrs Villiers will today urge farmers to “be bold and innovative” as policies are redefined for the first time in 40 years.
Following her speech, Mrs Villiers will be part of a panel discussion on how the political landscape will shape the future of the farming industry.
Joining her will be NFU President Minette Batters who will be urging the Government to make a firm commitment to the introduction of a food standards commission.
The NFU wants to see a commission which will scrutinise future trade deals and is backed by legislation in the Agriculture Bill.
Mrs Batters will also reiterate the NFU's stance on the importance of securing a trade deal which safeguards British Farming's place as a global leader in climate friendly food production.
Emphasising the need to ensure British farmers are not put out of business through a trade deal which allows imports of food which would be illegal for farmers to produce in the UK.
Something she will say, the NFU will not tolerate.
The Oxford Farming Conference runs until tomorrow, Thursday, January 9. The Politics Briefing followed by the panel discussion takes place at 9.30am today, Wednesday, January 8. The briefing and panel discussion can be watched live on the Oxford Farming Conference website here