It is a real privilege to be here today to launch our Agricultural Transition Plan.
I’d like to begin by thanking the Oxford Farming Conference for hosting this event. Of course, we all look forward to the time to when we will have turned the corner of this pandemic and can return to meeting again properly, but for now let me start by taking this opportunity to thank all those of you who working in our food supply chain to keep the nation fed. The response of the sector has been phenomenal and has been a timely reminder of the critical importance of domestic food production to our food security as a nation.
My family have farmed in West Cornwall for six generations. The names of fields were passed from one generation to the next. Like all farmers, we knew our land and so I understand the responsibility that farmers feel to the hard work of previous generations and also their commitment to the future.
So as we contemplate the biggest change in agricultural policy in half a century, we need to design a policy that is not only right for those who are the custodians of our countryside today but which is also right for those who follow in their footsteps tomorrow. Those who we’ve yet to meet. Those perhaps who yearn to go into farming but cannot currently get access to land; the farm managers who want to set out on their own; maybe those who left the family farm twenty years ago but wish they could find a way to return.
So, today we are publishing