I have never been that good at storing facts and figures but every now and then a little snippet of information is absorbed by my inner consciousness.

One such fact which recently grabbed my attention was that the cost of regulating the farming industry far exceeds any profit the industry can hope to make.

Farming must be the most over-regulated industry on earth. Just how ludicrous is this?

Of course the industry needs supervising. From the consumer’s point of view, food needs to be clean, healthy and safe.

But is it really necessary to yank the red tape that pulls together agriculture so tightly that it strangles businesses?

What is the point of regulation if it serves no purpose apart from creating jobs at DEFRA?

From the farmer’s point of view, producing food needs to cost less, involve less hassle for more gain, and the regulations need to be common sense guidelines which are easy to follow.

DEFRA is on the side of the consumer while heaping inane legislation on farmers to the point of breaking them. This gives new meaning to biting the hand that feeds you.

Over-regulation in farming is unnecessary and damaging our competitiveness. Inspections are becoming too frequent, too intense and downright impractical for ordinary farmers. A more practical approach has to be taken and farmers must be given reasonable notice prior to inspections.

It is reassuring therefore that the newly elected MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire agrees. According to Simon Hart, less red tape in business and agriculture is better. The MP believes that people should be able to run their businesses with the minimum amount of government form filling and interference, and has pledged to work to reduce or scrap this wherever possible.

If he can achieve this it will bring huge relief to farming businesses. By reducing the burden of paperwork farmers will have more time to concentrate on the business of farming.