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A CPRE report claims small farms could be lost by 2050

View profile for Caroline Dowding
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Only a couple of weeks ago, my colleague Katie commented on how economist, Professor Helm, called for a review of taxation rules for farmers, taking into account the subsidies they receive, business rates exemptions and reduction of diesel duty. Michael Gove has also announced that whilst he supports subsidies in one form or another, a new model of farm support after will need to be implemented after Brexit and that such support will be assessed on “environmental and public benefits” rather than the current system based on acreage.

Thankfully, in response to this, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) seems to be coming to farmers' aid and has called on the government to ensure that consideration is given to the diverse range and size of business that is vital to our rural community and wider economy. The CPRE has published that farms have been declining since the 1950’s and is the fastest business decline among smaller businesses. Whilst most individuals, governmental departments and farming communities and support groups appreciate that businesses must move with the times and the environment must be protected, there has to be support for the smaller businesses to enable them to compete with the larger operations.  

It is a very uncertain time for farming and until there is a clearer indication of how Brexit will affect our traditional family farms, many will feel vulnerable and their longevity and security may be jeopardised. The farming community needs to ensure that their voices are heard!