CCRI director gives evidence to EFRA Committee

Last week, CCRI director Janet Dwyer gave evidence to the EFRA Committee as part of their inquiry into Defra’s ELM scheme. CCRI had earlier submitted written evidence to the inquiry and was asked for an additional written submission as well, before Janet met with the Committee. Members’ questions focused mainly on the likely impact of the phasing out of the Basic Payment Scheme on farms in England, and ideas for encouraging a successful roll-out of the new Environmental Land Management approach. Janet commented on the significant weakness of the Sustainable Farm Incentive pilot in not allowing any farmers with agri-environment contracts to be part of the piloting process, thereby missing out on their wealth of environmental management knowledge; and encouraged Defra to take greater care to monitor and support farm structural change and succession over the next few years, as adjustments work through the farming and food system, and to be more willing to invest in advice and training as part of the transition package.

Footage from the session can be viewed on the website, with evidence from Janet being provided on numerous occasions for the first 90 minutes of the session. During this time, Janet was joined by Dr Ruth Little from the University of Sheffield. Ruth had previously completed her PhD at the CCRI.