Our response to Government’s 30th June Update on Agricultural Transition Plan
Rosie Hails, Director of Science and Nature at the National Trust said:
"The Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) scheme can help put sustainable farming at the heart of delivering more for nature, for climate, and for other public benefits alongside healthy and nutritious food. We particularly welcome the improved clarity around the regulatory baseline, funding ambitions up to and beyond the end of this Parliament, and the Government's commitment to pursuing a blended finance approach with the private sector. However, this is only the first step in making farming more sustainable in the long-term. Farmers need a clearer picture of where they are heading with the full package of schemes, specific environmental objectives they are working towards and ready access to different ideas, approaches and techniques for how to improve and adapt all systems.
"With Defra not planning to begin phased implementation of the more ambitious Local Nature Recovery scheme until 2023, all eyes are now on the roll-out of the SFI. It has to lay a firm foundation for increasing ambition if we are going to achieve the Government's 25 Year Environment Plan and Net Zero goals. And while farmers in existing agri-environment schemes now have confidence to build on their current commitments, we also need a guarantee that helping many more farmers to begin their environmental journey through the SFI won't leave behind some of our country's most environmentally precious areas."