DEFRA secretary David Miliband has told the Prime Minister that his priorities include developing a profitable and competitive domestic farming industry and securing further CAP reform.

In a letter to Tony Blair, published on Tuesday (11 July), Mr Miliband said that farming was not separate from the rest of the department, it was central to it.

This was because it was at the front line of the government’s approach to both climate change and the natural environment.

“Developing a shared agenda with the industry, founded on a long-term view of ‘one planet farming’ is a high priority,” he said.

“We will shortly be launching our revised Action Plan for delivering the Sustainable Food and Farming Strategy for the
next three years and I hope that, alongside a renewed drive on schools and health catering, we can deliver gains for farmers and the environment.”

Future vision

Mr Miliband appeared before the environment, food and rural affairs select committee on Wednesday afternoon (12 July) to talk about his vision for the future of the CAP.

He has expressed a desire to secure further CAP reform as part of the Commission’s review of the EU budget in 2008/09.