Frictionless trade with Europe top of TFA's election priorities

The TFA, which represents England and Wales' tenant farmers, is urging the government to ensure continued frictionless access to the European market
The TFA, which represents England and Wales' tenant farmers, is urging the government to ensure continued frictionless access to the European market

The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) has published its main priorities for the next government following the general election on 12 December.

As the UK heads towards the third election in five years, agriculture will once again feature heavily in the policies of all the political parties.

Whether it's about animal welfare, climate change, health and well-being, environmental standards or obesity, there will be much to say about the role that farming has to play in meeting challenges.

The TFA, which represents England and Wales' tenant farmers, is urging the government to ensure continued frictionless access to the European market for UK food and agricultural products post resolution of Brexit.



It also recommends policies which ensure good access to migrant labour both on a seasonal and semi-permanent basis, while industry works toward enhancing the ability to meet requirements from domestic sources.

Protection from trade in food products from parts of the globe which do not meet the standards of food safety, animal welfare and environmental considerations required by UK law, is also highlighted.



The group urges for a new tariff schedule which ensures all domestic agricultural sectors are protected from being undermined by cheaper imports.

Finally, the TFA recommends the development of a new agricultural policy correcting for market failures within supply chains and for the provision of public goods and services with fair access to tenant farmers.

TFA chief executive, George Dunn, said: “The central issue is to find a way to continue to deliver safe, high quality food produced to high standards of animal welfare and environmental management at prices consumers can afford, whilst providing a sustainable return to the farming community.

“The next government must also grasp the nettle to introduce measures to change the fiscal environment within which rural landlords decide to let land to encourage longer term Farm Business Tenancies.

“The tenanted sector cannot begin to consider issues of resilience and sustainability when average lengths of term on new tenancies are consistently below four years and more recently below 3 years,” said Mr Dunn.