Jeremy Clarkson’s Amazon Prime series Clarkson’s Farm has often highlighted the importance of buying from local farm shops – something which could soon be a new normal for many.
Clarkson is passionate about discussing the cost of food on supermarket shelves and how little of the profit ends up in farmers’ pockets amid constant rising prices in production.
Through the series, Clarkson has revealed to fans how measly farmers’ pay packets can be without aid, experiencing it firsthand after only making £144 in his first year of farming.
Wanting more for his business and fellow farmers, Clarkson turned his attention to raising more awareness for his passion – and it seems to have worked.
A manifesto by pro-green MPs has said that cutting planning rules would help farmers’ profits and get more people eating local food.
The “Clarkson Clause” will allow farmer to open farm shops without needing planning permission and will allow greater freedom to install wind turbines and solar panels on farmland.
Jeremy Clarkson’s farming awareness has paid off
The Conservative Environment Network also want to force supermarkets to pay more for food that meets sustainability standards and to introduce a “buy British” button on websites that will filter out food which is not produced in the UK.
The manifesto explains that farmers should be allowed to install wind turbines of up to 30 metres without planning permission and called for the scrapping of rules requiring them to dig up fields to check for historical artifacts before installing solar panels.
Clarkson’s Farm has been the driving force behind the suggested new laws after he documented his battles with his local council to build a shop and restaurant.
Diddly Squat Farm Shop got off to a rocky start
The manifesto is designed to reduce emissions while protecting the countryside, with MPs such as Damian Green, Sir Robert Buckland and Phillip Dunne all backing the manifesto.
Selaine Saxby, the Tory MP for North Devon, said: “Too often, planning red tape ties farmers up when they are trying to do the right thing by the environment.
“Slow and bureaucratic planning rules can prevent them from opening new farm shops that would help more people to buy locally, sustainably produced food.”
James Gray, the MP for North Wiltshire, called for reform of rules that exempt only farmland used for growing crops or raising animals from inheritance tax.
Jeremy Clarkson has been a driving force in raising awareness
“This threatens to discourage farmers from using their land for promoting biodiversity,” he said. “We should go further by abolishing inheritance tax for land which is delivering benefits for nature.”
Jordan Lee, the Conservative Environment Network’s nature programme manager and author of the manifesto, said: “The ongoing protests across Europe show the importance of working with farmers, not against them.
“Outside of the EU, the UK is well placed to support farmers on the road to net zero and avoid similar disruption.”
Steve Barclay, the environment secretary, is carrying out a review of permitted development rights in an effort to boost rural business, and will study the manifesto’s recommendations.