Red tape. There’s too much of it and it drives us round the bend.


It’s one issue that over the years you’ve routinely, regularly and repeatedly raised as one of your biggest bugbears.

You don’t want to be shuffling paper when you could be rearing stock and growing crops. Producing food is a far more constructive use of your time and skills.

It’s good news, therefore, that the Task Force on Improving Regulation has launched a consultation this week asking for suggestions on ways to cut bureaucracy.

The task force – led by NFU ex-director general Richard Macdonald – is calling on farmers and trade associations to submit ideas which will lead to a change in “the culture” of how businesses are regulated.

It’s up to everyone to contribute, so do try to get involved. Your comments and ideas are as valid as anyone’s – indeed, probably more so, because you’ve probably been battling – and coping with – pointless and perplexing red tape for decades.

Tell the task force about regulations that are unnecessary. Tell them about ones that have evolved to become excessively complicated. Tell them about ones that are unfair. Tell them, basically, about any bad regulation that stops you doing what you do best.

We’ve heard lots of well-intentioned talk about cutting red tape from government before – and often that is all it has been. Talk.

But the new government has promised to set about the task with purpose and farm minister Jim Paice seems determined to tackle the issue. With government departments having to cut budgets so dramatically, they could be more receptive to such ideas now than perhaps ever before.

Richard Macdonald is also well qualified to spearhead this group. He is well aware of how infuriating bureaucracy is – how, as he puts it, it’s “bad for competition and sanity”.

Farmers all want more freedom from unnecessary regulation and form-filling. Give the industry that and we’ll be even more able to produce world-class crops and livestock.

Let’s all get involved and pull together in what we’re calling the campaign to Rip Up Red Tape. This really could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Isabel Davies, Content editor

How to have your say

• You can submit your suggestions of the red tape you would like to see ripped up here.
• You can also write to: Task Force on Farming Regulation Area, 8D Millbank, DEFRA, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR
• Alternatively you can post your suggestions on the Farmers Weekly forums or send us a letter
• You have until Sunday 31 October to get in touch

• For more on this story click here.