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Delivery Key On The Farming Red Tape Review

04 November 2011
National Farmers Union

UK - The NFU has said that it is encouraged by the Government’s initial response to the Macdonald Task Force review of red tape in farming, but has warned that farmers and growers will want to see action sooner rather than later if the initiative is to keep its credibility.

NFU Deputy President Meurig Raymond said: “We know that the Government is keen to implement the Task Force’s recommendations and we are encouraged by the appointment of Richard Macdonald to head the delivery group."

“But in the face of the inevitable scepticism in the farming community, and with new examples of over-regulation – like the proposals on quad bikes – still seemingly cropping up almost every day, we really do need to start seeing actions that match the rhetoric. Delivery is the key.”

Mr Raymond said that the NFU’s significant input into the Macdonald review had resulted in many positive developments from the Task Force recommendations including progress on a scrutiny panel and the position on earned recognition which would enable regulators to reward good practice with less frequent inspection.

“This interim report is a step in the right direction,” said Mr Raymond. “We are working towards an end goal which will see the delivery of simplified and better regulation across the board, freeing farmers from the shackles of red tape which currently burdens every farm office in this country."

“What we need to see now is some flesh on the bones. We need a clear timetable for how the aspirations within this report will be turned into reality with specific actions from Defra. Most of all we need to see a step change in over-zealous regulation replaced by a system which encourages and rewards farmers for upholding the high standards expected."

“I look forward to seeing the final Defra response to the Task Force early next year. I hope it paves the way for a culture within Defra that understands and works with farm businesses to develop practical solutions; one that uses regulation as a last resort.”

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