DEFRA announces red tape measures at NFU Conference

DEFRA has announced a range of measures to cut red tape.

Farm minister Jim Paice revealed the government’s final response to the Farming Regulation Task Force plan at the NFU annual conference in Birmingham on Tuesday 21 February.

The government has committed to adopt 86% of the original 200 recommendations announced in May 2011 by the task force.

The response addresses all of the recommendations in the report, agreeing to 150. It is still considering 31 while the remaining 30 have been rejected as unworkable or a better solution has been found.

• Among the measures taken up are:

• A possible way forward for removing the six-day livestock standstill rule

• A pilot to increase data sharing between government agencies that should lead to less form filling

• Closer industry involvement in the policy-making process to reduce the need to regulate

• Simplifying messages to farmers about environmental protection rules so they know what to do to comply

DEFRA farm minister Jim Paice said:  “The government wants to help create the right conditions for businesses to thrive and remove unnecessary burdens which hold back economic growth.

“We are fundamentally changing the way we work with farmers this is a balance of trusting farmers’ expertise and ability to do the right thing,” Mr Paice said.

The NFU welcomed the government’s commitment and called for swift action to see the changes implemented.

Chairman of the task force Richard Macdonald said:

“While some of the specific recommendations haven’t been accepted which will disappoint some, overall it vindicates everything we’ve been doing to drive forward change.

“We need to turn these words into actions and two groups will meet regularly to make sure commitments are acted upon.”

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