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Mark Carlisle

Environment Secretary highlights important role of farmers in stewardship of environment

Posted by Mark Carlisle on August 9th 2019 in AGRICULTURAL AND RURAL AFFAIRS .

Secretary of State at the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Teresa Villiers, attended Countryfile Live on 1 August and gave her first speech since taking office.

Teresa Villiers noted that the rural economy generates nearly £250 billion a year for the UK's overall GDP and she applauded the achievements of farmers to produce the highest quality food to some of the toughest safety and animal welfare standards in the world.

Recognising the increased preparations for EU exit on 31 October she considered the future. Commentary on a post-Brexit farming economy included:

  • Opportunities for food and farming businesses as the UK creates its own laws, an independent trade policy and new "world-leading" systems to replace the Common Agricultural Policy.
  • A move away from the "appalling complexity, rigidity and bureaucracy of the Common Agricultural Policy".
  • A new system of support based on the principle of public money for public goods that rewards environmental stewardship, improves health and welfare, and develops a reformed and proportionate approach to regulation and enforcement.

Her speech finished by focusing on the wider themes of sustainability, biodiversity and the natural environment and a hope for this to be the first generation to hand on the natural environment in a better state than we found it.

Source: Defra: Environment Secretary's speech at Countryfile Live 2019 (1 August 2019).