Grant to boost domestic tree production re-opens
Domestic tree production is being boosted with the re-opening of Forestry Commission’s Tree Production Capital Grant. £5m is available for suppliers of all sizes from any sector to expand and modernise the production of tree seeds and saplings. Successful projects will be awarded up to £175,000 in grant funding to cover up to 50% of costs.
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Alternative fuel payments for non-domestic properties – applications closing 28 April
Apply for support towards energy bills for non-domestic properties which are not connected to the gas grid before Friday 28 April. You can apply for £150 fixed payment for alternative fuel use, or the high users of heating oil (kerosene) support. Non-domestic properties include farms, warehouses, pubs and hotels run by businesses or individuals.
Border Target Operating Model webinars
The draft Border Target Operating Model was published on 5 April. It proposes a new approach to security controls (applying to all imports), and sanitary and phytosanitary controls (applying to imports of live animals, animal products, plants and plants products) at the border. It sets out how controls will be simplified, digitised and, over time, delivered through the UK’s new Single Trade Window.
Defra is hosting sector specific webinars for those who import or export: food, live animals, animal products, plants and/or plants products to or from the United Kingdom.
More funding for farmers as new blueprint for water announced
Farmers will benefit from significant additional funding to better manage slurry storage and to store and use water more efficiently, as a key part of a new Plan for Water. Nearly £34 million will be made available through the first round of the Slurry Infrastructure Grant – more than two-and-a-half times the original budget.
Signpost job opportunities to people arriving from Ukraine and Afghanistan
Defra have been working with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and the National Farmers Union (NFU) to signpost people arriving from Ukraine and Afghanistan towards job opportunities. People have already been matched with opportunities, and are filling critical vacancies in various sectors. We encourage businesses who are interested to download and fill in the form about the work that can be offered. Alternatively, employers can upload opportunities targeted at Ukrainian and Afghan refugees onto the ‘Find A Job’ tool and then email email@example.com to draw attention to these opportunities. DWP staff will then be proactively seeking suitable candidates. We encourage businesses that have access to accommodation to offer this to those who have arrived from Ukraine using the Accommodation Portal. More information on assisting Ukrainian refugees in employment can be found here: Guidance for businesses offering work to people coming from Ukraine.
Greater support for farmers to calculate and reduce their emissions
The government has responded to calls from the farming sector for more support to open up multi-billion pound opportunities for farmers and landowners in the carbon market through a commitment to develop a new harmonised approach for measuring on farm emissions. The announcement, from the government’s Net Zero Growth Plan and Nature Markets Framework, follows on from a call for evidence on the role of robust monitoring, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas emissions on farms.
Green Finance Boost for Nature in UK
Plans to accelerate investment in nature have been set out by the Government as part of its drive to net zero by 2050. The Green Finance Strategy, will set out how the government will encourage green finance for nature-based solutions, such as tree planting and peatland restoration, and support farmers to access new private sector revenue streams, whilst protecting our natural environment.
Plastic Packaging Tax updates
As announced in the Spring Budget, from 1 April the Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) rate will be increased from £200 per tonne to £210.82 per tonne in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from 1 April 2023. This change will maintain the real term value of the price incentive to use recycled plastic and supports the government’s environmental goals. The new rate will apply to all plastic packaging manufactured or imported into the UK on or after 1 April 2023. Any packaging that has been manufactured or imported prior to 1 April 2023 will be charged at the existing rate of £200 per tonne. Further guidance for PPT is available at this collection page. The PPT guidance pages are continually enhanced to help address your frequently asked questions.
Have your say
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has redeveloped their guidance for food businesses. There’s a new business guidance hub with all the information you need for running your food business. They have also developed a new, easy to navigate guide for those starting up a new food business. The FSA want to make sure their guidance works for you, so please help them to gather feedback on the site by completing this short survey