The Country Land and Business Association and Tenant Farmers Association have issued joint guidance designed to help their respective members in England navigate the agricultural transition away from the Common Agricultural Policy.
The advice aims to provide tenants and landowners with clarity on how to make the most of new public and private sector environmental schemes, whether within existing agricultural tenancies or when considering new tenancies.
The agriculture sector is facing the biggest set of changes to domestic policy in living memory, as subsidy schemes are phased out and replaced with new Environmental Land Management schemes aimed at rewarding land managers for helping to mitigate climate change and enhance nature.
The CLA and TFA said they have long recognised that the transition towards these new schemes “will be fraught with risk” for all those involved in farming, and thus resolved to work together to ensure their members were supported through the process.
The core principles of the joint guidance are:
- The person delivering the environmental goods or services, whether paid for by the private or public sector, should be entitled to receive payment, unless they are acting as a contractor or employee.
- The transition from current to future environmental schemes should be managed so as to achieve the best outcomes for members and for the environment.
- There must be clarity over who is entering into agreements or contracts to deliver environmental outcomes, to avoid the risk of inadvertent double funding or incompatible contracts.
- Landlords and tenants can deliver more environmental outcomes and unlock additional marriage value from environmental investment by working together.
Chairman of the Tenant Farmers Association National, Mark Coulman, said:“There is so much to be gained from landlords and tenants working together to achieve combined outcomes that will bring joint benefits.
“The guidance produced by the CLA and TFA provides a framework for cooperation and an approach which seeks to avoid confrontation and dispute. It will be particularly important for agents advising both landlords and tenants to work constructively towards facilitating agreements that will allow participation in the new schemes being developed. Whilst legal remedies are available to parties who cannot agree, their use must be seen as sub-optimal.
“Although the guidance is addressed specifically to the members of both organisations, it is very much hoped that it will be of benefit more widely.”