Farming organisations join forces to outline priorities for new Government

NFU president says plans to reverse productivity declines, science-led policy decisions and the TB Eradication Strategy would all prove important

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire Liz Truss, Environment Secretary
Liz Truss, Environment Secretary

The NFU has brought together a wealth of industry leaders to discuss the need for food and farming to be placed high on the new Conservative government’s agenda.

Around 20 agriculture-based organisations were represented at a meeting hosted by the Union’s president Meurig Raymond, which focussed on setting out their priorities over the next five years.

“I am delighted Liz Truss has been re-appointed as Secretary of State and I will be meeting with her later this week to discuss how we can best champion the needs of food and farming across Westminster,” Mr Raymond said.

“The NFU and the farming industry share the government’s ambition of wanting to grow more, buy more and sell more British food at home and abroad.

“I want to see a robust plan put in place to reverse long-term declines in farming productivity and the nation’s self-sufficiency, increase the productive potential of farming, to stimulate investment, help farmers manage market volatility and ensure that the drive to increase British food production is at the heart of each government department.

Joe Giddens/PA Wire National Farmers' Union President Meurig Raymond
National Farmers' Union President Meurig Raymond

“We need a government that will champion British farming, give us the tools to invest to become more competitive, more efficient and carry that message to Europe.”

Mr Raymond added that the NFU believed in a “science-led approach to policy decisions”, suggesting that new biotechnology, GM crops and pesticides would all ensure farmers had the tools to produce more food with less impact on the environment.

“Regulation remains a major block to growing competitiveness for most farm businesses and the NFU will work with Government to highlight where action can be taken to remove or streamline requirements, and recognise good practice,” he said.

“We will also continue to lobby for an extension of the grocery supply code so primary producers are protected from unfair trading practice wherever it happens.”

In the short-term, meanwhile, one top priority was the further roll-out of badger culling to areas where TB is endemic.

“It is imperative the government makes an announcement as soon as possible and implements the 25-year TB Eradication Strategy in full,” Mr Raymond said.

“The government must also ensure that focus is kept on fixing problems and issues surrounding BPS as with just weeks to go until the crucial June 15 deadline; time is running out.

“All of this will take a lot of collaboration and co-operation between the government and the farming industry.

“It’s vital, now more than ever, we show a united voice and back British farming.”

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