Farming Transformation Fund – Adding Value grant announced
Defra has announced details of the Adding Value grant scheme under its Farming Transformation Fund.
Adding Value grants will be awarded to farmers and growers to support their work processing, diversifying and adding value to their products. Eligible capital items include equipment for preparing or processing edible agricultural products for added value sales, equipment for ‘second stage’ processing of grain - for example, colour sorting, blending, equipment for processing non-edible agricultural products into new products (for example, flax, hemp, wool, hides, and skins) and equipment for retailing eligible agricultural products (for example vending machines or display facilities).
It is a competitive £30m fund, which will offer capital grants of between £25k and £300k (at 40% intervention). The RPA will award funding to the strongest applications.
Royal Cheshire Show - Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 June
Thankfully, we can now, post-pandemic, look forward to what we’d all describe as a ‘normal’ summer of agricultural events.
At Royal Cheshire Show on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 June, our hospitality marquee will be back in its usual position on the showground with regional staff and county officeholders on hand to meet, greet and field questions from you, our members.
To give staff members sufficient time at the show to speak to our farmer members, we’ll no longer be providing a buffet lunch within the marquee. However, tea, coffee, soft drinks, milkshakes (from the Bidlea Dairy), and biscuits will be available for our members throughout the day.
We’re all looking forward to catching up with you at this important event in the Cheshire agricultural calendar.
Nutrient neutrality – how it affects planning applications
We have received a number of queries recently regarding the new policy of ‘nutrient neutrality’. This means Natural England will only sign off a planning application in certain areas if it is confident that the new development will not add any additional nutrients to the habitat. Additional nutrients from a new development can be offset by mitigating existing nutrient losses to the same habitat, which may then result in a successful, nutrient-neutral planning application. We have produced a short article to outline what it means for members and the action we are taking.
NFU responds to Defra's Nature Recovery Green Paper
The NFU has responded to Defra's Nature Recovery Green Paper which sets out proposals to support the government's ambition to restore nature and halt species decline by 2030. The paper includes options to reform species protections and modernise funding arrangements. It also looks at what institutional and delivery arrangements would best support nature recovery objectives.
GHG Emissions Trading Scheme consultation
Now that the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is established, the government is consulting on further developing the scheme and making it the world’s first net zero cap and trade market. Whilst the consultation is clear that the ETS will not be expanded to agriculture at this time, there are many aspects of the consultation which are very relevant to our sector. For example, it asks about carbon markets and carbon storage on farms and wants to know what the barriers are to farmers and growers using GHG calculators.
Treasury consultation on reforming capital allowances
Tree Production Capital Grant launched
The Tree Production Capital Grant (TPCG) provides funding to help tree nurseries and suppliers invest in projects which improve, expand, automate, or mechanise their operations. This will help improve not only the quantity but also the quality, diversity, and biosecurity of supply. Applications are currently open and must be submitted by the 30th June. This grant is open to existing and new entrants looking to diversify into the sector and builds on the NFU Tree Strategy ask: ‘Support for new plantings and encourage British sourced and grown saplings supporting our nursery sector