UK farming unions map out an agenda for the future

NFU Cymru president John Davies, NFU president Minette Batters, UFU president Ivor Ferguson and NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick at Friday's meeting of UK farming unions in Fermanagh. Picture: Cliff Donaldson
NFU Cymru president John Davies, NFU president Minette Batters, UFU president Ivor Ferguson and NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick at Friday's meeting of UK farming unions in Fermanagh. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

The UK farming unions have published a document ahead of the European elections on May 23 calling for a policy environment that allows our farmers and growers to grow and thrive.

‘UK farmers navigating change in Europe: An agenda for the future’ highlights six critical policy areas where action is needed to help deliver a profitable, productive and progressive farming sector. These are Brexit, Trade and Standards, Climate Change, Environment, Healthy Plants & Animals, and Science and Innovation.

In the document, the Presidents of the Ulster Farmers’ Union, NFU Scotland, NFU, NFU Cymru state that they want to engage with both domestic politicians and those from across the EU27 to highlight the importance of working with the industry.

In a joint statement, the presidents said: “However long UK MEPs are in post, it is important they understand and engage with UK farmers. Our industry provides the quality ingredients for our safe, traceable and affordable supply of food and underpins the UK food and drink sector, worth £122 billion.

“Whatever the outcome of Brexit we need a policy environment that allows farming businesses to continue to deliver benefits for the public such as high quality, affordable food and protection for our wildlife and countryside. These ambitions are not only hugely relevant for the UK but also across the EU and they start with ensuring that developments on Brexit prioritise the needs of farm businesses and the long-term prosperity of the agri-food sector.

“We must maintain our positive relationship with our European neighbours and work in partnership with them to develop an enabling regulatory regime that allows our sector to thrive.”