Agriculture Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:42 pm on 10th October 2018.

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Photo of Sue Hayman Sue Hayman Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 1:42 pm, 10th October 2018

The hon. Lady may recall that the Leader of the Opposition discussed the environment and issues connected with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in his speech.

All over the world, nearly all farmers are supported financially to produce food, and our farmers must be able to compete with them, but to do so they will need the right financial and policy framework so that they are not disadvantaged in a competitive and volatile global marketplace. We need to move away from the current system of direct payments, but if we are to bring in land management contracts, they need to be accessible. The recent delivery of payments to farmers and landowners has been poor, and the hoops that have to be jumped through put many people off signing up in the first place. We need to ensure that the agencies are adequately resourced—only then can they properly help the farmers who need the support that subsidies provide.