News story

Government cuts costs and reduces burdens on farmers

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Farmers will be helped significantly by government cuts to red tape, according to a report published today by an independent group.

Farmers will be helped significantly by government cuts to red tape, according to a report published today by an independent group led by former NFU Director General Richard Macdonald. The main developments can be viewed on an infographic

Following recommendations from the Farming Regulation Taskforce Implementation Group, the government has cut unnecessary red tape whilst maintaining the UK’s very high welfare, environmental and food quality standards. This will help farmers to grow their businesses and support the rural economy.

Farming Minister George Eustice said:

Regulations are important in upholding our high standards of farming, but overly burdensome rules have made life difficult for farmers for too long. By cutting red tape we’re making it easier for farmers to grow their businesses and support the rural economy. Removing unnecessary bureaucracy will let farmers get on with the job of providing high quality food while still protecting the natural environment.

Chairman of the Farming Regulation Taskforce Implementation Group, Richard Macdonald, said:

The government has made significant progress following our initial recommendations. It has put in place the foundations of a good structure and strategy to deliver on-going regulatory improvements, which benefit both the farmer and regulators. While farmers may not feel a difference from every change and the impacts of changes may not filter through for several years, this work will make a cumulative difference to thousands of the nation’s farmers if fully implemented.

Simple changes have made a big difference to a variety of farms across the country. Changes include:

  • Electronic reporting for sheep and goats is being phased in from next month which will deliver savings to the farming industry of around £500,000 over 10 years.

  • An ‘earned recognition’ scheme has reduced the number of dairy farm inspections by over 8,000 a year. Earned recognition means that the scheme limits the number of inspections on farms that have excellent track-records in complying with regulations.

  • Environmental guidance it is being made easier, quicker and clearer for businesses to understand. This is expected to reduce the time required for new businesses to understand their environmental obligations by over 80%.

  • The waste exemption guide has been simplifed, increasing online registration from around 20% to around 70%.

  • 885 members of the Environment Agency’s Pigs and Poultry Scheme have benefited from a £880 reduction in Environment Agency fees and time savings through fewer inspections as part of an earned recognition scheme.