UK: Farmers’ leaders call for a Government that understands farming

Meurig Raymond

Meurig Raymond - Credit: Simon Hadley

Farmers’ leaders will call for “a Government that understands farming” as they launch their manifesto for next year’s General Election.

The National Farmers’ Union’s (NFU) farming manifesto, set to be launched today, calls for a Government that understands farm businesses, wants agriculture to grow and has the policies that send the right signals to farmers.

The document highlights five key policy challenges over the short, medium and long term that the industry, along with Government, can address. These include investing for growth, protecting animal and plant health, securing knowledge and technology, building fair, safe and secure food chains and caring for our countryside.

NFU president Meurig Raymond said: “Ahead of the General Election next May, we are calling on all the main political parties to help maximize the potential of our industry and create a policy environment in which our farmers and growers can thrive.

“I am intensely aware of the major challenges ahead for British farmers – to increase food production with fewer inputs and better care for the environment. I want the next Government to work with the NFU to set an agenda for growth, for profitable production, that fosters the breadth of farm businesses from food to renewable energy and environmental services by building on the professionalism and confidence of British farmers. By backing British farming and working together we have a unique opportunity to increase food production by supporting research, investment and growth.

“The opportunities are clear – global and domestic demand for food and renewable energy is on the rise. 88% of the UK public think farming is important to the economy. Farmers are ready too, with the potential to grow production and reduce our reliance on imported produce. What is needed now is a Government that understands farming, that supports growth and that has the policies that send the right business signals to farmers across the UK.

“I sincerely believe that the steps we’ve set out in this manifesto are practical and easily implementable actions that, if adopted, will deliver growth and benefits for both the country and countryside and by which political parties can clearly demonstrate their commitment to the future of this most essential of industries.”