Defra has agreed to fund a six-month extension to the Campaign for the Farmed Environment. Jim Paice, the Farming Minister, announced earlier in June that the industry-led campaign to stave off a return to set-aside would continue until the end of 2012.
A review of the past two years’ work will be conducted and the partners expect to unveil a new approach for 2013.
Mr Paice described the CFE as ‘a huge success’, adding: “There were some pretty testing targets set at the outset – not necessarily targets we would have set ourselves, but nevertheless they are there and most have been achieved. But if we look at it overall I think it’s done more than achieved the objectives.”
“Most of all, it’s shown the enormous work farmers and land managers are doing, often unrecognised and in many cases unregistered. I think one of the biggest successes has been in persuading farmers to register what they have done.”
Campaign partners anticipated a ‘crucial period of transition’, during which existing links would be strengthened with the industry’s other voluntary environmental schemes, including the Voluntary Initiative for pesticides and the Tried & Tested nutrient management campaign.
The extension has been welcomed by the land-based sector as an opportunity for industry-led activities to lead the way on addressing the environmental challenge