In the last few years we have:
- Developed and managed the “Champions Scheme” to fund individual farmers, foresters and growers to address significant issues facing their business. Mainly funded by SEEDA, the scheme aimed to implement Sustainable Farming & Food Strategy objectives by fostering innovation, demonstrating good practice, and (where appropriate) encouraging leadership qualities. In total, 16 schemes were funded. Generally, three projects were selected each year from 2005 on the basis of open competition and included:
A local provenance scheme for ornamental nurseries
Anaerobic digestion of farm waste
Biomass production from coppice woodland for heating systems
Climate change mitigation in top-fruit growing
- Developed strategic advice to Government agencies about priorities for the land-based sector in the region.
- Responded to consultations issued by national and regional agencies, for example on land use, and on the contribution of the land-based sector to the regional economic strategy.
- Was appointed as the body to monitor the work of English Food & Farming Partnership within the region and report to SEEDA on that work.
- Was appointed as the body to monitor the development of the Fresh Start initiative within the South East and the development of the Fresh Start Academies.
In recent months, FRIGSE has been active in:
- Working with the new Local Enterprise Partnerships to ensure that they understand the importance and potential of the land-based economy in their areas.
- Putting arguments to Defra Ministers about the Government’s latest proposals to reduce the use of peat in production horticulture.
- Submitting views to Defra about the regulation of on-farm reservoirs by the Environment Agency.
- Working with the new RDPE team for the South East on regional priorities, including the simplification of the grant process for training
- Working with Defra on the establishment of a regionally based Rural and Farming Network for communication and consultation with the land-based sector and other rural interests.