17th September 2021


Rural Rap

THANET EARTH HAS BEEN FORCED TO “TRASH” £320,000 OF TOMATOES DUE TO A LACK OF PICKERS AND DRIVERS, reports the Kent Messenger.  The difficulties facing Thanet Earth were raised in PMQs this week by MP Sir Roger Gale.  “On ‘Back British Farming Day’ we’re in harvest but, Mr Speaker, all is not safely gathered in,” he said to the House.  He called on the PM to introduce a Covid recovery visa so that this year’s crops are not lost.  The PM said that the government is “taking steps” and the seasonal agricultural scheme would be used to ensure British farms get the labour they need.

A LACK OF INTEREST COULD RUIN THE ROLL OUT OF DEFRA’S ELM SCHEME, reports Farming UK.  The ELM scheme will pay farmers for undertaking actions that improve the environment through the Sustainable Farming Incentive, the Local Nature Recovery Scheme and the Landscape Recovery Scheme.  Defra is piloting the SFI with an initial cohort of up to 1,000 participants from October this year, but a continued low level of interest amongst farmers could “threaten” the government’s environmental ambitions.  The response rate has been just 5%.

A UK-WIDE PROJECT TO DISCOVER THE TRUE VALUE OF FARM SHOPS HAS BEEN LAUNCHED, reports Farming UK.  The pandemic appears to have triggered a growing appetite for British farm shops.  Farm retailers provided a lifeline to local communities throughout the year, sourced supplies during shortages and delivered produce to vulnerable people.  It is estimated that there are over 1,000 premises across the country which fall under the definition of “farm shop.”  Researchers want to discover the impact that these shops have on their communities, and on the wider economy and the UK’s rural landscape.

BRITAIN’S FOOD SELF-SUFFICIENCY MUST NOT FALL BELOW 60%, reports Farming UK.  The NFU issued the warning to the government on Back British Farming Day this week.  Britain has seen its self-sufficiency fall from as high as 78% in the mid 1980s to its current level of just 60%.  The NFU has also called on the government to analyse UK food security, covering production of key foods and its contribution to global food security.


RABI, Addington Fund, FCN, Forage Aid and RSABI, supported by the Prince’s Countryside Fund, have launched the Farming Help initiative.  The initiative is also being launched with the NFYFC, the NFU and the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust. 
FARMING HELP recognises that this will be an anxious time for many farmers and farming families and periods of poor health or self-isolation may result in temporary practical difficulties on farm.  For help drafting a contingency plan, for practical local help with livestock, shopping etc, or to discuss your concerns and anxieties,

Contact 03000 111 999 or visit www.farminghelp.co.uk

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