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UK Farms: Productivity

Volume 677: debated on Thursday 25 June 2020

The Agriculture Bill will allow us to introduce ambitious new schemes in England based on the principle of public money for public goods, so that we can reward farmers who protect our environment, improve animal welfare and produce high-quality food in a sustainable way. The Bill will also help farmers to stay competitive.

Despite spending £3.4 billion each year under the common agricultural policy and subsidies for our farmers, the productivity growth rate has not significantly increased since the 1990s. This is in stark contrast with unsupported sectors such as egg production, where in 2019 alone productivity increased by 3.8%. Does my hon. Friend agree that the removal of the damping blanket of the CAP, as well as increased competition, will drive productivity growth throughout farming, allowing Government support for farming to focus on public money for public goods?

I absolutely agree that moving away from the CAP provides the opportunity for a more prosperous, competitive and self-reliant industry. We will support UK farms to focus on their business modelling and to improve efficiency, which may well, in turn, reduce their environmental footprint.