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Your chance to make your voice heard on the future of farming!

16th Apr 2018 / By Alistair Driver

The NPA is seeking your views to inform our response to Defra’s Command Paper on the future of food and farming.

Gove NFUThe Command Paper, published for consultation by Michael Gove at the end of February, is a landmark publication that sets the groundwork for a new direction for farm policy after we leave the EU.

Based on the principle of moving towards a farm support mechanism that delivers ‘public money for public goods’, the document undoubtedly presents opportunities for the pig sector.

We are in the process of compiling our response – and to ensure we present the strongest possible arguments we need members’ views. We have compiled a list of questions that are being sent out to members.

“It’s a long list of questions but you don’t need to answer them all, just the ones that are relevant to you!” NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said.

Public money for public goods

The Government wants to know what you think constitutes a public good. The main focus of the ‘public money for public goods’ policy will support to enhance the environment on farms, for example soil quality and increased biodiversity.

But Defra also wants to know what else people think should constitute public goods. The document asks you to rank the top three from the following options:

  • World-class animal welfare
  • High animal health standards
  • Protection of crops, tree, plant and bee health
  • Improved productivity and competitiveness
  • Preserving rural resilience and traditional farming and landscapes in the uplands
  • Public access to the countryside.

We want to know what you think constitutes a public good on your farm.

  • Is producing high quality, affordable food a public good? (why isn’t it on the list?)
  • What about things you do to improve animal health and welfare and reduce antibiotic use, provide employment and training for young people and look after and enhance the environment?

How would you like to see support delivered for the public goods you provide? For example:

  • Grants for new buildings and equipment that helps improve efficiency and productivity and deliver animal health and welfare gains.
  • Support to use and pioneer new technology on farm
  • Tax relief on investment
  • Interest free loans
  • Incentives to employ and train young people.
  • Are there are other ways you think the pig sector could be supported?

This is just one small part of the definitive consultation paper. 

KEEP AN EYE ON THE FORUM OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS! We’ll be posting more questions - you can either comment on them publicly on the forum or send us your views privately. Click here to visit the forum

To view the Command Paper, click here

To send us your views on any of the questions, please email

Zoe is asking members to submit initial thoughts on the call for evidence by Friday April 20. These will then be incorporated into the NPA's response. 

As well as feeding your views into us, we would like to encourage members to respond directly to the consultation. One way of doing this is via the multiple choice questions here

The deadline for this consultation is May 8. 

Making your voice heard

Zoe added: “What comes out of this consultation will affect all food producers and allied industries one way or another.

“Now is a once-in-generation opportunity to make your voice heard! If you don’t give your input now, you may not get another chance. We believe it is far better to set the agenda rather than deal with the consequences of someone else’s!

“We would like to hear some helpful solutions that we can put to Defra – the more helpful/viable they are, the more likely it is that they will be taken notice of.”