Tenant farmers have key role to play in industry’s future

Landowners should be encouraged to let out more land for longer periods for farming because tenancy arrangements offer such an important route for people into the industry, Farming Minister George Eustice will say today.

Speaking at the annual NFU National Tenant Farmers’ Conference, in Newbury, the minister will argue that creating more opportunities to rent productive land would help overcome a shortage of opportunities for newcomers to get into farming. Meanwhile, increasing longer-term tenancies would give more tenant farmers the security they need to build up their business.

Farming Minister George Eustice said:

“Farming a third of all agricultural land in England, tenant farmers are important producers of high-quality products steeped in the heritage of Great British farming.

“They are a vital part of our long-term food and farming plan and increasingly new entrants are entrepreneurial, spotting business opportunities and different ways of doing things, and we need to support and encourage this innovation.

“I also want us to think innovatively about other ways we can open up opportunities for people to make a career in our £100 billion food and farming industry because without a vibrant primary farming sector the supply chain is vulnerable. “

In addition to attracting new talent to the farming industry, and supporting new enterprises, the minister will say the government’s long-term food and farming strategy would support growth in the food and farming industry by:

– developing the British brand as a mark recognised as high quality with high animal welfare standards

– winning new export markets, and

– using new technology to reduce costs and improve profitability.

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