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Mrs Spelman is speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference today to outline her vision for the Common Agricultural Policy, which is being currently negotiated in Europe.

She will say that the terms need to be fundamentally changed so that farmers who protect the environment should get rewards and there should be less reliance on direct payments.

She said: “We need to make the new CAP fundamentally different.

“It must be about the new challenges of achieving global food security and tackling and adapting to a changing climate.

“Furthermore we should encourage innovation in the industry, and provide help with environmental measures and combating climate change.”

Mrs Spelman is also expected to reveal a change in the Government’s approach to food and farming, with more power being handed to local organisations and local people and an emphasis on sustainability.

She said: “Over the coming years we need to increase the competitiveness of the whole UK food chain to help secure an environmentally sustainable and healthy supply of food.”

Alison Brown

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