THE PRIME Minister has promised there will be 20,000 fewer farm inspections as his government strips back ‘red tape’ and vowed to deliver new long-awaited export markets for farmers.
David Cameron said his plans would boost agricultural productivity and grow food and farming exports to countries outside the EU, including India, China and Brazil, by more than £7 billion.
He also outlined how, under existing inspection regimes, a tangle of seven regulators carry out more than 125,000 farm inspections a year to England’s 250,000 farms which take up farmers’ time and limit the potential of the farming industry to grow.
He said by streamlining the process, and making better use of the technology and data, it will radically reduce the number of inspections.
By summer 2016, farmers will only have to deal with one Single Farm Inspection Taskforce which will combine farm visits with mandatory checks. It will also use the latest technology to streamline the approach to inspections, such as using satellite data to analyse different crop types in fields.
Speaking at the Royal Welsh Show today, Mr Cameron said: “Farming and food production are a fundamental part of our rural economy. As a One Nation government, we will keep on backing British farmers to grow and sell more home-grown food by liberating them from red tape and opening up new multi-million pound export markets.”
The government has also committed to increasing Protected Food Names from 63 to 200 – with Carmarthen Ham and Welsh Laverbread expected to be confirmed later this summer.