Examination of Witnesses

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:25 pm on 11th February 2020.

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Jake Fiennes:

We have the regulatory payment. I hear of calls for up to 30% of existing payments that farmers receive, which is about £200 per hectare. I am certainly not in favour of that, because it will not encourage stakeholders to go into the middle tier and I think you will see a great uptake in the middle tier. On the final tier, which is landscape restoration, whether it is on a catchment basis, if we are going to have sustainable, functional land use, it has to be at scale and deliver all the climate change issues and soil regeneration. All these processes will go into the final tier and, having listened to some of the comments earlier about the smaller farmers not working well together but the bigger ones working better, we are seeing a great uptake of facilitation funds and cluster groups. This whole movement is happening. I would not encourage the lower payment to be a major factor, because we would basically go back to a reverse BPS system.