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Examination of Witnesses

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:30 am on 13th February 2020.

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Dr Fenwick:

From our point of view, it is about more than farming and food production per se; it is about the families that farm on the land. There are certain types of farming that continue, but effectively the communities do not. We see that in parts of England; thankfully we do not see it so much in Wales, if at all. We would say there has been a missed opportunity to include among key priorities the sort of ambition that is there at EU level in terms of the reforms that are going through, which relate to looking after farming families and communities and to laying out sentences explicitly in legislation.

I refer you back to what Tom Williams said about the 1947 Act, which was in place until it was superseded by EU regulations. He said it was based on providing

“adequate remuneration and decent living standards for farmers and workers”—[Official Report, 17 December 1945; Vol. 417, c. 931.]

with a reasonable return on capital investment. We would welcome that sort of aspiration being inserted into the Bill.