On 25 February 2020 the Farming for the Future – Policy and Progress Paper was published. The document provides further details of the agricultural policy for England over the next 10 years and outlines how the Agriculture Bill will help achieve this.

“The opening page is extremely encouraging clearly stating that in response to the earlier consultation, DEFRA accepts food production and food security are important. The paper provides some useful guidance on the direction of travel for environmental schemes and BPS transitions. However, there is concern that whilst few would deny investment in new skills and technology makes sense, there appears to be a lack of understanding of what farming in practice means for many particularly in the livestock and fruit sector. Whilst both can benefit from modern techniques this paper and recent immigration policy announcements fail to recognise how manual labour adds huge value to British farming and food security. Manual labour is a cost effective, environmentally beneficial and an essential part of many farm activities. There is a need to recognise and welcome human intervention in farming and accepting that not everything can or should be mechanised.”   Leo Hickish, Partner, Batcheller Monkhouse.