Social Farms & Gardens has contributed to a Defra consultation on the future of food, farming and the environment in England, emphasising the role that city farms, care farms and community gardens already play in benefitting people and places - and how much more could be achieved with more support.
The consultation called for views on proposals for future agriculture policy in England, particularly in light of changes as a result of leaving the European Union and the Common Agricultural Policy.
In its consultation response, Social Farms & Gardens said that care farms, city farms and community gardens offer a vital role in providing public goods for public money; they could offer increased potential savings to health, education and social services; help re-connect people with food and farming and help maintain viable and thriving rural communities, improving mental and physical well-being for the population, while protecting vulnerable family farms.
The response also said that any future agricultural policy post EU exit should therefore include an enabling policy environment for continuation and growth of care farming and community agriculture opportunities.
The response concluded that, in particuar, community agriculture initiatives and care farming already contribute – and could do considerably more with the right support - to the following:
• Contribute to the payment of public money for the provision of public goods
• Support farmers to prepare for change and improve resilience in the sector
• Deliver cultural benefits that improve mental and physical well-being
• Increase public engagement and education of food and farming.
Read Social Farms & Gardens full response via the following: