Sticking with our plan to back British farmers

Today the Prime Minister attended the National Farmers Union conference and set out a package of support to back British farmers, sticking to our plan to deliver a brighter future for our rural communities. 


  • It has been an unprecedented time for farmers, with global impacts from the illegal invasion of Ukraine alongside significant flooding. Thanks to Brexit we are also moving away from the EU’s bureaucratic Common Agricultural Policy which did little for food production or the environment. 


  • We are backing our farmers by accelerating our plan to invest £2.4 billion every year in the sector, making sure farmers get a fair price for their produce and strengthening our food security. 


  • Through this we will continue to champion our farmers who proudly produce some of the best quality food in the world, keeping us fed while stewarding our beautiful countryside.


We are backing British farmers by:


  • Investing in profitable, resilient farming businesses through new grants. We will launch the largest ever grant offer totalling £220 million investing in new technology and equipment, robotics, rooftop solar, slurry storage and beyond. 


  • Stepping up our monitoring of food security so we can be agile to respond to any in-year impacts. We will publish an annual Food Security Index, which we expect to be UK-wide and will put into law when Parliamentary time allows. 


  • Reviewing food supply chains so farmers get paid fairly for their produce. Building on our reviews underway into eggs, pigs and fresh produce, we are strengthening the law for the dairy sector, and confirming our next review will take place in the poultry sector. 


  • Rolling out our new farming schemes which reward sustainable farming practices, with nearly half of all farmers now signed up. We recently announced upgrades to our schemes so that there is something on offer for every type of farmer. We will now double the Management Payment, offering up to £2,000 to cover admin fees for those who sign up this year. 


Key political point: 


  • Labour’s green promises would put 40,000 farming jobs at risk, showing Labour have no plan to support our rural communities. The Labour-run Welsh Government’s plans to set aside 20 per cent of all agricultural land for environmental purposes would put 40,000 farming jobs at risk if they were applied to England as well as Wales (The Daily Mail, 12 February 2024, link).


  • Labour in Wales are pressing ahead with plans that will see 5,500 rural jobs disappear as part of their ill thought out eco scheme. The Labour-run Welsh Government are pressing ahead with plans to take 20 per cent of agricultural land out of food production, putting 5,500 much-needed rural jobs at risk in Wales (BBC News, 19 February 2024, link).


  • Welsh Labour are bringing in targets from 2025, forcing farmers to cover at least 10 per cent of their land in trees to access any funding support, showing they have no plan for food security. The Farmers’ Union of Wales President Glyn Roberts said: ‘any overall losses to a farm’s productive capacity will impact negatively on our current and future food security’ (Welsh Government, Sustainable Farming Scheme, 29 September 2022, link; Farmers Weekly, 23 November 2022, link).


  • Labour voted against the Agriculture Act and opposed the removal of old-style top-down EU funds showing they would take our farming sector back to square one. We removed the old top down rules of the EU, championing our farming industry, while incentivising sustainable farming practices (Hansard, Agriculture Bill, 13 May 2020, link).


We back British farmers in everything we do, which is why we are committed to realising the benefits of greater trade and opening up new markets for our world-class, home-grown British produce. Last year, at the Farm to Fork Summit, we set out our trade commitments to ensure British farming is at the heart of British trade. That’s how we will ensure that, in the long run, the deals we do – with Canada or anyone else – work for the farming sector. We will always look for the right deal, not the quick deal.