Ipswich: NFU dinner takes places at crucial time for agricultural economy

Suffolk NFU delegate Stephen Rash, Chief Constable Douglas Paxton, College Principal David Lawrence,

Suffolk NFU delegate Stephen Rash, Chief Constable Douglas Paxton, College Principal David Lawrence, NFU chairman Richard Scott, Robert Sturdy MEP, Stuart Agnew MEP, Suffolk Agricultural Association chief executive Chris Bushby, Suffolk County Council chief executive Deborah Cadman, Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, FSB county chairman Chris Soule, Peter Aldous MP and Dan Poulter MP - Credit: Archant

THE importance of agriculture to Suffolk’s economy was highlighted when the NFU hosted a Parliamentary and business dinner on Friday, March 15.

More than 70 NFU members and guests sat down to discuss key issues at Trinity Park, Ipswich including MPs Dan Poulter and Peter Aldous and MEPs Stuart Agnew and Robert Sturdy.

The guest list also included new Suffolk Chief Constable Douglas Paxton, the chief executive of Suffolk County Council Deborah Cadman, Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, Suffolk chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses Chris Soule, the chief executive of Suffolk Agricultural Association.

Chris Bushby and Easton and Otley College Principal David Lawrence.

Suffolk NFU county delegate Stephen Rash said the dinner was taking place at a crucial time for agriculture, with negotiations on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy about to enter a critical stage.

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He told the guests: “We need your help to get a fair and equitable deal for British agriculture.”

He also highlighted the impact fuel duty has on rural Suffolk and its economy and praised Suffolk police’s new rural crime initiative.

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Dr Dan Poulter said that those attending the dinner worked together to stand up for the food and farming industry, which was the bread and butter of Suffolk’s economy. He thanked the NFU for hosting the event and said he enjoyed working with the organisation on a number of issues.

He said he was still looking to support agriculture in his new role as health minister, including ensuring that farmers benefit from a new bursary milk scheme and through supplying more food to local hospitals.

“All hospitals should be providing high quality and nutritious food for their patients. That means supporting local food producers, which should be good for everybody,” he said.

The dinner was organised with the support of the NFU and NFU Mutual group offices at Bury St Edmunds, Diss, Halesworth, Ipswich, and Lavenham.

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