The social welfare and economic costs on regional and local, rural and urban, levels have been high. Yet we must not assume this trend is inevitable and expect other businesses and industry to fill a few rural labour gaps. Rather, the direction should be towards less intensive, safer and, more locally-based food production systems, encouraged through positive incentives, advice and education. Fiscal measures such as lowering the cost of labour (income tax and National Insurance) and increased costs of inputs such as energy and chemicals could add to a package of rural employment and environmental benefit.
Sustainable Agriculture Food and Environment Alliance
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