Suffolk farmers’ leader welcomes Gove’s Oxford speech on sector’s future

Suffolk NFU county chairman Colin Clifton-Brown. Picture: NFU

Suffolk NFU county chairman Colin Clifton-Brown. Picture: NFU - Credit: NFU

Suffolk farmer’s response

A Suffolk farmers’ leader has welcomed environment secretary Michael Gove’s Oxford speech, but said farmers needed to be profitable.

Colin Clifton-Brown, chair of Suffolk National Farmers’ Union, said he was “very encouraged”. “Obviously we welcome the confirmation that there will be a transition period of up to six years, giving farmers time to adapt to the new regime,” he said.

While he welcomed support for smaller farmers in environmentally sensitive areas, he was concerned about the fate of smaller livestock farmers in lowland areas such as Suffolk. But he welcomed his thoughts on technology, supply chain fairness, upholding and enhancing standard, cutting red tape and facilitating trade. “I think the overriding messages from this speech were public money for public goods and enhancing the environment. I just hope he understands that in order to achieve all these aspirations, we must be allowed to get on and farm the best land in order to achieve a profitable agricultural industry.”