The farming industry is the first to benefit from the Government’s pledge to slash red tape which hinders business efficiency, Farming Minister Jim Paice announced today.
A raft of measures to free farmers from the shackles of unnecessary burdens, help their businesses become more competitive and so provide a boost to the economy whilst still ensuring environmental protection have been published.
Launching the Government’s full response to Farming Regulation Task Force, Mr Paice committed to take action on 86 per cent of the independent panel’s original recommendations made last May.
Key commitments include:
A pilot to increase data sharing between government agencies that if successful will be extended, leading to less form filling;
Closer industry involvement in the policy making process to look for non-regulatory approaches wherever possible, and a Defra-NFU staff exchange programme starting in April;
Simplifying messages to farmers about environmental protection rules so they know exactly what they have to do to comply;
Offering a potential way forward for removing the six-day livestock standstill rule, as long the livestock industry can develop a workable approach to the use of livestock separation units which will maintain protection against animal disease and that the changes are affordable and enforceable; and
Fewer inspections for farmers who already meet high environmental and animal welfare standards, as a result of NFU-led regional networks co-ordinating Government agencies, local councils and assurance scheme providers.
Other key commitments include:
More effective UK lobbying on key EU farming laws, by working closely with industry experts through strategy groups;
Scheduled meetings between the Department of Transport and the NFU on changing rules restricting tractor and trailer weights;
Making it easier for farmers to access Government services on-line;
A fly-tipping summit to bring together organisations across all sectors to galvanise support for regional action; and
Defra workshops with farmers next month to look at how paperwork can be reduced.
Tuesday February 21, 2012/ DEFRA/ United Kingdom.