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Brexit back-to-the-land future beckons

When the UK finally leaves the EU (depending on the result of next month’s general election), encouraging people back on the land and directing government subsidies to small-scale, sustainable farming could help solve the current environmental crisis, says a recent briefing paper from the Food Research Collaboration.

The FRC website says: “The briefing argues that by leaving the Common Agricultural Policy, the UK could divert some of the ¬£3.5 billion currently given out in farm subsidies to purchase land for allotments and invest in making small-scale, sustainable farming financially viable.”

The paper, written by Professor Dave Goulson at the University of Sussex, points out that allotments can produce abundant food while supporting a healthy bio-diverse environment, showing that the two necessary components of a successful agricultural economy need not be mutually exclusive.

The paper also argues that getting more people involved in small-scale farming, primarily involved in growing mixed fruit and vegetables for local consumption, would not only enable people to eat healthy food with minimal packaging, but it would also provide a path into employment and greater appreciation of the land around us in an era when more and more jobs seem destined to become redundant due to the greater automation of industry.