Government announces its response following publication of the Rock Review

The government has announced new measures aimed at supporting the long-term sustainability of the tenant farming sector.

Tenant farmers had been calling for more support

Tenant farmers had been calling for more support

The measures, announced in response to the independent Rock Review, agree with the review’s key recommendations and include a new Farm Tenancy Forum that will work to consider the unique challenges facing the sector, facilitate more collaborative relationships between landlords and tenants, and help to shape farming policy.

The forum will be co-chaired by Julian Sayers and will provide regular feedback to government, strengthening Defra’s relationship with the sector.

The government will also launch a Call for Evidence this summer on the proposal for a Tenant Farming Commissioner in England, considering the benefits this could bring and how it might work in practice.

Defra said the measures build on the actions it has already taken to help tenant farmers benefit from our Environmental Land Management schemes (ELMs) and a consultation launched at Budget on potential inheritance tax reforms, in line with the review recommendations.

Farming minister Mark Spencer said: ”I’d like to thank Baroness Rock and her team for their work on the review, which underlined the vital importance of the tenant farming sector and the action needed to help it thrive.

”At the centre of her review was a call for tenant voices to be heard by government and that we remove barriers to accessing our farming scheme. That’s what we’re delivering – both through the measures announced today and in the progress that we have made over recent months, and I look forward to working with the tenanted sector to help make sure we’re delivering on their priorities into the future.”

The Rock Review was published in October 2022, led by Baroness Rock and the Tenancy Working Group, with input from all parts of the tenanted sector including tenants, landlords and agents.