The Conservative Party has promised to helped growers and farmers by cutting back on the number of farm inspections that take place with the possible introduction of a new watchdog. It also promised to offer more British food protected name status. It said it would lead the way in ensuring UK branding is placed as standard on food produced for sale across the UK as well as on packaging destined for export markets. It also said it would deal with the skills issue in the sector. ElizabethTruss, Environment Secretary, told The Sunday Telegraph: “We want to work with the food industry on a 25 year plan to get the skills into the industry.”
Labour also said it would invest in the food and farming sector. Its election manifesto said: “We want to create a world-leading food, farm and fisheries sector that creates better paid jobs and apprenticeships across the rural economy. We will put in place a long-term strategy for the sector, promote the best of British produce, and expand the role of the supermarket watchdog to support the growth of the sector, and protect food producers from unfair practices by the major supermarkets.”
New measures announced in the last Budget will make it easier for farmers to plan and invest for the future, according to the Liberal Democrats. The party suggests that increasing the period over which self-employed farmers can average their profits for income tax purposes from two years to five years, providing them with extra protection from volatility. Under the current system farmers can add together their profits for two years. Each By averaging the amount, farmers will be able to spread volatile profits over consecutive good and bad years.