Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed, hosted a summit on Friday for tenant farmers across her constituency with Baroness Rock, who chairs Defra’s newly established Tenancy Working Group.
The visit came following a virtual meeting Anne-Marie held for local farmers in February with Farming Minister and fellow farmer, Victoria Prentis MP. When concerns were raised by tenant farmers, Minister Prentis told them of the new working group aimed at ensuring tenant farmers are involved in and engaged with Defra’s new land management plans to ensure they fit within existing tenancy structures. The group is led by Baroness Kate Rock, who got in touch with Anne-Marie keen to meet Northumberland tenant farmers in person.
As England moves beyond the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, previous support schemes will be replaced with new schemes that support farmers in their roles as both food producers and stewards of the natural environment.
Defra aims to work with farmers – including tenant farmers – to ensure those new schemes work with farmers to establish a more sustainable agricultural sector.
Speaking of the summit, Anne-Marie said:
“I was really pleased to be able to host Baroness Rock in Northumberland. It is vital that Defra hears directly from tenant farmers and this working group is key to ensuring new agricultural support schemes understand the needs of our farmers and work with existing tenancies. I know those who attended found it really useful and view it as the beginning of an ongoing dialogue.”
Baroness Rock, Chair of Defra’s Tenant Working Group said:
“It was an absolute pleasure to meet with this group of tenant farmers from the local area and my thanks go to Anne-Marie Trevelyan for setting up the event. The discussion and the solutions are precisely why we are engaging with tenant farmers across England over the coming months. These meetings really drive home the importance of the Tenancy Working Group and why Defra must pay more attention to the role of tenant farmers in the future of agriculture and land use.”
As well as tenant farmers – invited by the NFU – also in attendance were Northumberland County Council councillors Guy Renner-Thompson (Bamburgh) and Mark Mather (Wooler) – who are farmers.
The Tenancy Working Group is presently seeking views from tenant farmers via an online survey, the details of which can be found on gov.uk or on Anne-Marie’s website.
More information on Defra’s Tenancy Working Group: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-working-group-launched-to-support-tenant-farmers
Link to the survey: https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/2022/04/13/tenant-farmers-share-your-views/
More information on Defra’s plans via the Future Farming blog: https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/2022/04/13/tenant-farmers-share-your-views/