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Industry Leaders Urge New Government to Make Food and Farming Priority

13 May 2015
National Farmers Union

UK - Farming and food industry leaders have come together to discuss the need for food and farming to be firmly high up on the new UK government’s agenda.

The event, hosted by NFU President Meurig Raymond, (pictured) provided an opportunity for more than 20 organisations to discuss and set out their priorities over the next five years in a bid to help shape and implement food and farming manifesto pledges.

Mr Raymond said that the new government comes to power with a detailed and positive agenda for agriculture.

“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,” he 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.

“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.

“Like this government the NFU believes in a science-led approach to policy decisions.

“Access to new biotechnology, GM crops and pesticides will all ensure farmers have 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.

“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.

“Those are our long term objectives. But in the short term, a top priority must be a further roll-out of badger culling to areas where TB is endemic to give those livestock farmers in certain parts of the country some hope.

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