Changes to farming subsidies proposed: demonstrations

“England’s flagship Environmental Land Management Scheme – which is to replace the old area-based agricultural subsidy payments – is under review. And there are concerns that it could be scrapped entirely.”

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There’s real concern about the government’s proposed changes to the way in which land is managed – whether the management of the environment: Changes to environmental regulations proposed – Vision Group for Sidmouth 

Or agriculture: Changes to farming subsidies proposed – possibly – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Environment groups are very concerned, with The National Trust, RSPB and Wildlife Trusts saying they could urge their millions of members to take to the streets in demonstrations: Direct action not ruled out by conservation groups over environment policies – BBC News

Farming groups are also very concerned – to the extent that many are actually taking to the streets in demonstrations: Farmers to protest in London with demand for more ambition on nature – FarmingUK News

The Western Morning News today carried a report from the Press Assocation:

Hundreds of farm workers and environmental activists have marched through central London in support of sustainable farming. Members of the Landworkers’ Alliance and other farming groups marched from Parliament Square, up Whitehall and past Buckingham Palace on Saturday. They were led by Gerald Miles, a 74-year-old organic farmer who travelled to London from his South Wales farm in a tractor that was built in 1967. 

Farm workers and environmental activists march through central London

Gerald Miles, 74, LWA Coordinating Group member and organic farmer from Pembrokeshire, said:
“The government needs to get its act in gear and look after this country instead of looking after the rich and really invest in the countryside and farmers that produce food, which is the backbone of the country. If they want to offer incentives to farmers to get greener to combat the climate crisis they need to keep ELMs (environmental land management schemes) going and give grants to young farmers and young growers to start. It’s simple and common sense.”

Here’s today’s report from the Landworkers’ Alliance:

On Saturday (October 15th) hundreds of farmers, food system workers, environmental activists, land access campaigners and people who care about the future of food and farming took to the streets of London to demand that our Government raises its ambition.

During the few weeks in the run-up to the march, news circulated that England’s flagship Environmental Land Management Scheme – which is to replace the old area-based agricultural subsidy payments – is under review. And there are concerns that it could be scrapped entirely by the new Farming Minister Mark Spencer.

Read our blog post ‘What’s going on with ELMS?’

At a time when the cost of living is spirally out of control, farming livelihoods are under threat by new international trade deals, and nature is under attack by the government’s growth-at-all-costs agenda, now more than ever we must take action to ensure a transition to agroecological farming and food system which is grounded in the Right to Food.

Jyoti Fernandes, the Landworkers’ Alliance Policy and Campaigns Coordinator and co-organiser of the march said: “We are marching for a properly funded Environmental Land Management Scheme and new entrants scheme to create good jobs and truly sustainable growth for both rural and urban communities. We are marching because we don’t want to see the budget for our hard working farmers and growers hijacked by investments in vertical farms and robots when there are people who want jobs producing healthy local food…” 

Landworkers’ Alliance and allies march in London for good food and farming – Landworkers Alliance

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