A TOP Cumbrian farming official says the National Farmers Union will be consulting members to get their reaction to Government proposals to pay older farmers to retire.

NFU Cumbria County Chairman Ian Bowness said farmers must be given time and information to make significant decisions. “We must also recognise how no two farm businesses are the same, meaning each set of circumstances for a farmer considering a lump sum exit payment will be truly unique. We will now be consulting with our members extensively to understand their views on these proposals.

“Of course, any discussion around people exiting the industry must be coupled with how we attract new people into agriculture. It’s crucial that the schemes announced today work in a coherent way with schemes such as the New Entrant Scheme and Future Farm Resilience Fund to ensure British farming has a thriving workforce for generations to come.

“While getting the framework of future agricultural policy schemes right is important, Defra’s policy transition must not ignore the consequences of the government’s new trade deals as these will be absolutely critical to the viability of many family farms.”