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Partners Praise CFE Progress

02 November 2011
National Farmers Union

UK - As the Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE) celebrates its second birthday, new figures reveal that farmers have actively placed land the equivalent of around 73,000 football pitches into schemes aimed at protecting the environment.

Campaign partners praised farmers, land managers, agronomists and farm advisers who have contributed to the achievements and re-iterated the need for effective co-operation as the Campaign heads into its third year.

Recent figures from Natural England reveal a 32 per cent increase of CFE target options in Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) since the Campaign began. Out of over 41,600 live Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) agreements, over 11,600 contain CFE options. This equates to an area of 52,317ha under key CFE/ELS target options or the equivalent of around 73,000 football pitches.

Agriculture Minister Jim Paice said: “I’m really grateful to those farmers who have supported the Campaign during its first two years and done their bit to improve the environment. Progress has been made, but there is still a lot to be done over the next six months to ensure the Campaign truly delivers on its promises. We hope that farmers will continue to give the Campaign their wholehearted support and many more will join them to help make it a success.”

Farmers and land managers can support the Campaign in two ways: by gaining at least 30 per cent of their ELS points from choosing key target options or by putting three to four per cent of land into CFE voluntary measures. Supporting the Campaign using these percentages as a minimum guideline will ensure that national progress towards the CFE targets continue.

NFU President Peter Kendall said: “The success of the CFE over the past two years has demonstrated yet again the value of the partnership approach. When it comes to balancing efficient food production with environmental conservation, co-operation will always achieve more than coercion, even at a time when volatile markets and major changes to the CAP are making it very difficult for farmers to plan ahead."

“Whatever the future holds on that score, we will achieve the best outcomes for farming and the countryside by farmers, advisers and conservationists working together, as they have so effectively in the CFE, to find the solutions that will enable us to produce more, while impacting less.”

William Worsley, CLA President, added: “The CLA is proud to be a founding partner of the CFE which has recognised and built upon the tremendous amount of environmental management already done by farmers and land managers."

“Farm advisers and agronomists have shown incredible support for the Campaign, and the expertise of local co-ordinators has helped to provide accessible information and tailored advice for farmers and land managers. The ability to use agri-environment scheme funding to pay for some Campaign management options has proved a major boost in pushing the Campaign forward."

“With just over six months left for the CFE to prove to the Government that the farming industry can be trusted, I urge farmers and land managers to take a fresh look at their existing management options and check if they count towards making the Campaign a success.”

The Campaign has until June 2012 to gain enough support to fend off future burdensome regulation. Even with CAP greening proposals, the Campaign remains a strong voice in the battle against regulation but only if farmers continue to support it over the winter and into next year.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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