The Farming Inspection and Regulation Review (FIRR) has proposed “radical changes” in order to change the way in which farming is regulated in the UK after Brexit.
A new report published by Glenys Stacey, chair of the FIRR, estimated that over 150,000 inspections take place on farms each year by multiple authorities in order to insure farms meet the terms of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.
The report said that Brexit gave the FIRR the ability to introduce a “single field force” to conduct “more meaningful farm inspections, as part of a more flexible, proportionate regulation”. The FIRR also says it wants to introduce technology to conduct inspections such as using satellite imagery to check compliance.
Stacey said: “Farmers have long been frustrated by the way farms are regulated. As we leave the EU and as government sets out new expectations for farming, we have a unique opportunity to transform the way we do things. This interim report sets out a direction of travel for farming regulation. We do not suggest piecemeal adjustments.
“Instead we think more radical change is necessary, to make the most of the opportunity we have now, and to best enable farmers to produce and market food while also meeting the other expectations government has of farming.”
DEFRA is skeptical of EU farming regulations saying they have “adverse consequences for farm businesses”.
Environment secretary, Michael Gove said: “Dame Glenys makes a thorough and compelling case for fundamental changes to the existing inspection and regulation framework. The regulation on farmers under the CAP has imposed an extra bureaucratic headache on farmers, with no room to recognise innovation or good intent.”