Call to Speed Up Green Farming Reforms; AGRICULTURE: Organisations Want Commission Recommendations Implemented

Article excerpt

PRIME Minister Tony Blair was yesterday urged to speed up moves towards switching food production subsidies into support for more environmentally - friendly farming practices.

The call was led by 15 environment and consumer organisations that asked members and the public to write to Mr Blair urging him to forge ahead with the changes, recommended by the Curry Commission on Farming and Food.

It comes as Whitehall departments negotiate with the Treasury for increases in their budgets under the 2002 Spending Review.

Mr Blair asked Sir Don Curry to make recommendations into the future of food and farming, in the wake of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.

But environmental and consumer groups are worried that the initial enthusiasm with which the Government greeted the Policy Commission's recommendations, is fading.

Dr Mark Avery, RSPB director of conservation said, ``The Curry report opened up new thinking and approaches to agriculture policy. What we need to do now is make it happen.

``Tony Blair must show leadership by providing the funding needed to implement the Curry recommendations. …