Mr Gove’s comments at Conservative Party conference yesterday suggest ministers are planning a major overhaul of agriculture funding.
He said: “Outside the Common Agricultural Policy, we can stop subsidising the rich on the basis of how much land they own and instead spend money on enhancing the environment, supporting innovation, improving productivity, training a new generation of entrepreneurial young farmers and reviving rural communities.”
The CAP has long been criticised by environmental groups because they believe it incentivises farmers to use as much land as possible regardless of environmental impact because payments are based on acreage.
The Environment Secretary said CAP was a “failure” as he claimed the subsidy system was “environmentally damaging and socially unjust”.
He said: “The number of farmland birds has reduced by more than half, pollinators such as wild and honey bees have suffered a drastic decline in numbers, and our rivers and chalk streams have seen fish stocks decline and small mammals disappear.