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Jonathan Baker, Defra

Environmental land management and the agricultural transition in England, where are we, and why?

Event details


Jonathan Baker is one of the senior civil servants working on farming reform in England. Jonathan has led on the Agriculture Act (2020) and the overall Agricultural Transition Plan including budget, strategy and more recently plans for engaging with the farming sector. In this seminar, Jonathan will talk through the progress made to radically reform farming policy in England, as well as provide an insight into the basis for key decisions and show how policy makers use evidence, advise Ministers and set strategy in a complex, multifaceted change programme.

Pen profile
Jonathan is a Senior Civil Servant responsible for the overarching policy intent as agricultural policy in England is repurposed so it better rewards farmers for improving the environment and animal health and welfare. As well as setting the strategy Jonathan and team ensure there is a plan for achieving it, making use of the current £2.4bn/ year of public monies.

As policy lead, Jonathan and the team manage some technical areas including the programme of statutory instruments, subsidy control, relationships with the Devolved Administrations as well as promoting our reforms internationally.

Jonathan and team also ensure that Defra are talking to, and learning from farmers as these changes are developed and then delivered. This involves working with stakeholders and farmers to build support and address concerns across the sector through a communication, engagement and marketing strategy.

Prior to joining Defra, Jonathan worked for the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) as national advisor on land use and has an analytical background within consultancy. Jonathan is a Nuffield Farming Scholar


Byrne House