Secretary of State’s powers to give financial assistance

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:15 pm on 30th October 2018.

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Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2:15 pm, 30th October 2018

There will be a place for those sorts of enterprises, although not for all. However, as I said earlier, we are looking at what we could do alongside, for instance, a county farms offer to support some of those peri-urban schemes. Sometimes they are box schemes, but they are community-led schemes in particular areas, quite often in our cities. I made it clear earlier that we believe we would be able to support those farms, under both subsections (1) and (2). That option exists, so it is there already if we should want to support it. We have been clear that we are exploring this idea and considering it. It will not be for everyone. There will always still be a place for larger-scale productions supplying the supermarket multiples where most people will get their food and where there is already quite a wide choice. However, it will be an option for some and we have kept the door open to supporting it.

To conclude, these are unnecessary amendments and many of the health benefits we have alluded to in our White Paper are dealt with through the existing measures in clause 1.