A group of 14 rural organisations has called on the UK Government to provide short-term certainty for industry ahead of the UK’s departure from Europe and the Common Agricultural Policy (Cap).
The group, which includes NFU Scotland (NFUS), Scottish Land and Estates (SLE), the National Sheep Association and the National Beef Association, wants governments across the UK to work together with farmers and landowners.
In a statement delivered to Defra, the group said: “We are committed to working with the UK, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish Governments to establish a new and better agriculture and land use policy once the UK leaves the Common Agricultural Policy.
“In turn, we call on our Governments to work together with us to establish a collaborative policy framework and budget.
“We welcome Ministers commitment to the continuity of support based upon existing schemes and budgets. This should allow necessary time to address market failures in supply chains and provide a vital window for the development, implementation and testing of a new policy framework that ensures sustainable growth of a competitive and valuable farming sector.
“This certainty in the short term provides the necessary time for farmers to prepare for a new long-standing free trade agreement that retains and grows the opportunities for competitive, profitable and progressive farm businesses with the European Union and the rest of the world.”
NFUS president Andrew McCornick said: “We need our governments to work together with us to establish a collaborative policy framework and common budget – which retains flexibility for the devolved administrations to deliver appropriate policies across the UK geared towards active, efficient and productive agriculture.
“We need a period of certainty in which this work can be done and we will continue to work with fellow farming organisations to achieve this.”
SLE chairman David Johnstone said it was vital that the unique interests of Scottish agriculture were taken into account during Brexit negotiations.
He said: “We would urge the UK Government and the devolved administrations to work together to deliver a new farming landscape that delivers for all.
“There should be no cliff-edge, and that means ensuring in the industry has access to the support, labour and trade markets required to ensure our farming sector remains a world leader.”
A spokeswoman for Defra said: “The government is committed to getting the best possible deal when we leave the EU, one that allows us to continue to have tariff-free frictionless access for goods and services into the European market.
“Leaving the EU provides us with a golden opportunity to set up new frameworks for supporting our farmers to grow more, sell more and export more great British food.
“We will work with all those who have an interest in the future of food and farming as we develop a new approach that works for our industry.”