A FENLAND firm has backed the Government’s pledge to cut red tape hindering the farming industry’s competitiveness.

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Specialist agricultural accountants Moore Thompson, based in Wisbech, has welcomed a raft of measures designed to free farmers from unnecessary burdens.

Farming Minister Jim Paice made the pledge while launching the Government’s full response to Farming Regulation Task Force, in which he committed to take action on 86 per cent of the independent panel’s recommendations.

Commitments will include a data-sharing pilot designed to reduce form filling, closer industry involvement in policy making and a Defra-NFU exchange programme starting in April.

There will be simpler messages to farmers about environmental protection rules and fewer inspections for farmers who already meet high environmental and animal welfare standards.

Andrew Heskin, a partner in Moore Thompson’s farming sector team, said: “Cutting red tape is a must to boost business in the farming sector.

“Many of my clients are unnecessarily burdened by bureaucracy which is holding back growth. Freeing them will help drive the economic recovery, which is being led by the growth in the agricultural sector.

“I welcome the Government’s pledge for more multi-agency co-operation, closer industry involvement in decision making and less inspections for farmers already operating at a high standard.”

Farming Minister Jim Paice said: “With rising global demand for food, farmers and their skills are in huge demand, which brings business opportunities.

“The response to the Farming Regulation Taskforce commits to clear actions that will make it easier for farmers to get on with their jobs and make the most of those opportunities.”

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