14th May 2021


Rural Rap

THE WINNERS OF THE TASTE OF KENT AWARDS 2021 WERE REVEALED LAST WEEK IN A VIRTUAL CEREMONY, reports the Kent Messenger and Produced in Kent.  Now in its 17th year, the event aims to showcase the best of the county’s food and drink producers.  Public voting began in January and saw a 300% increase in participation.  This whittles the nominees down to three shortlisted candidates, which are then judged by a panel of experts.  For a full list of winners, visit:

THE KENT COUNTY SUMMER FAYRE IS TO ACT AS A “ONE-OFF REPLACEMENT” FOR THE KENT COUNTY SHOW, reports the KCAS and all local media.  While the Kent County Show has been postponed until next year due to Covid, KCAS still want to hold an event worthy of what can be achieved in a short space of time.  The Kent County Summer Fayre will be a great day out for the family and will be managed in a safe way with restricted visitors. Several sections will remain, including Heritage, the Countryside Ring, Show Jumping, Farmers Market and trade stands.  There will be the traditional band stand with entertainment, and sumptuous eats.  The event will take place over Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th July.  Kent YFC is expected to attend en masse and will be exhibiting and judging their club and school farm animals.

A PARLIAMENTARY GROUP IS TO EXPLORE WAYS TO BOOST THE UK RURAL ECONOMY POST-PANDEMIC, reports Farming UK and the CLA.  The cross party group of MPs and peers has launched the inquiry into why rural productivity is 18% below the national average and identify solutions to bridge the divide.  It will focus on digital connectivity, the planning system, land use, rural skills and the tax system.  It is seeking written evidence from the rural economy, including from the farming sector.  The CLA is supporting the inquiry and said that the closing the rural productivity gap would add £43bn to the UK economy.

THE COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE IS BROADLY SUPPORTIVE OF THE GOVERNMENT’S AMIBITIONS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE, it reports in a briefing note following the Queen’s Speech.  The Government plans to introduce up to 30 Government bills, many of which will impact the countryside and rural communities.  While the CA is broadly supportive, it has concerns with respect to how the Government intends to fulfil its ambitions, and the consequences of those actions.  The main areas it notes as being relevant to rural communities include levelling up, crime, business support, building a cleaner and greener UK, animal welfare, illegal coursing, lead ammunition, live exports and food labelling.

THE CLA WELCOMES THE GOVERNMENT’S RECOGNITION OF THE NEED TO MODERNISE THE PLANNING SYSTEM, reports the CLA.  “For too long, the countryside has been treated like a museum, held back by an outdated system that has frustrated economic growth.”  The CLA believes that if the planning system was simplified, twinned with other measures such as spending £5bn on improved broadband, then “the vast potential of the rural economy might finally be unleashed.”


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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