THE GOVERNMENT has published a five year strategy for DEFRA which pledges to cut red tape and help farmers to become sustainable land managers.

The document, which has been welcomed by Prime Minister Tony Blair, says the intention is to transform DEFRA into a leaner, more efficient department.

The document, which was published on Wed (Dec 8), says that DEFRA needs farmers to produce – and make products – with less impact on the environment.

Farmers also need to reconnect better with consumers and their local communities, it suggests.

“We are already embarked on a partnership with farming for a sustainable future,” said DEFRA secretary Margaret Beckett.

“The single farm payment and the whole farm approach will create one form, one date and one face from government – and is part of our promise to cut red tape.”