Tuesday, February 21, 2012

CLA calls on the Government to follow up its pledge to ‘free-up’ farming

A Government pledge to free-up farming by slashing red tape will blow a breath of fresh air through the industry – according to the CLA, the Country Land and Business Association.

The comments follow the publication of the Government’s response to the report of the Farming Regulation Task Force – which was led by Richard Macdonald – and Farming Minister Jim Paice’s promise to follow the recommendations through and get on with the job of ridding the industry of red tape.

CLA South West Director, John Mortimer said: "Knocking down the barriers to economic growth in rural areas is essential if rural businesses are to play their part in delivering sustainable development.

“We are clear that cutting the mountains of paperwork and recognising the importance of online communications are key to winning the war on red tape, so we are pleased to see that Defra has made getting farmers online a top priority - but we remain to be convinced that the Government’s current plans will actually meet the needs of the 10 percent of rural communities who will not have access to superfast broadband.”

The CLA has also given an enthusiastic reception to proposals which will see regulators rewarding landowners for taking steps to maintain high farming and environmental standards with a much-needed reduction in red tape, inspections and form-filling – the so called "earned recognition."

The Task Force had, he said, been very effective in listening to land-based businesses and conveying their frustrations and concerns to Ministers – the challenge now was for the Government to ensure those recommendations were implemented quickly.

“It will require a change in attitude to farm businesses. This is about enabling land-based businesses to get on with their job and to do it as efficiently and effectively as we know they can – without the threat of a big stick.”

For further information and interviews please contact:
Paul Millard CLA South West Communications Manager on 01380 830179 or 07831 674345

For further information on the CLA please go to www.cla.org.uk

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