Sally-Ann Hart, MP for Hastings and Rye, and Huw Merriman, MP for Bexhill and Battle, hosted a Roundtable in Udimore for local farmers and officials from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), an executive body of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
The Roundtable was an opportunity for farmers from Hastings and Rye and Bexhill and Battle constituencies to learn more about the work taking place in the Department that affects them and their businesses, including the Countryside Stewardship and Lump Sum Exit schemes, and an update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive was shared too. There was also an opportunity for questions and concerns to be raised which were addressed by both Sally-Ann and the officials.
The RPA, headquartered in Reading, is responsible for supporting the country’s farming and food sector, including by boosting the productivity of the farming industry, delivering subsidies to the sector, as well as helping to bolster the rural economy via related development schemes.
Commenting on the Roundtable, Sally-Ann said:
“Local farmers and their high-quality produce are an integral part of Hastings and Rye’s economy, and they also fulfil an important environmental function as stewards of the countryside.
It was a real pleasure to welcome many farmers to the recent Roundtable in Udimore focused on the work of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the officials present were able to share a valuable update on the Government support available to them and their businesses.
This sector is more important now than ever with the crisis in Ukraine showing the need for a high-degree of national self-sufficiency when it comes to foodstuff, and our local farmers continue to have my wholehearted support and thanks for the work that they do.”
“The roundtable was a good opportunity for local farmers to meet with senior officials from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Rural Payments Agency and to hear more about the new farm payments scheme. Having left the EU, we now have the chance to shape the farm payments and grants schemes to make sure they work for our farmers without placing a heavy administrative burden on them. It was interesting to listen to the feedback from both sides about the new rural policies and how they could work better for farming, environmental land management and nature recovery. I am looking forward to organising a further roundtable in the autumn”