The Ulster Unionist Party met with representatives from the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) in Stormont this week to discuss the implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Party leader Mike Nesbitt MLA, the Assembly team and Jim Nicholson MEP discussed the issue with UFU’s chief executive Clarke Black and president Harry Sinclair.
Commenting after the meeting Jim Nicholson said: “The implementation of the reformed CAP is a significant issue for all constituencies given the importance of the agri-food industry to our economy. Because of this it was felt important that the UFU should have an opportunity to outline their proposals to Ulster Unionist MLAs and discuss the possible implications of the options being considered.”
Ulster Unionist agriculture spokesperson Jo-Anne Dobson MLA said: “Our meeting was an opportunity for both Harry and Clarke to present to the Ulster Unionist Assembly Group on an issue which will affect the lives and livelihoods of families across Northern Ireland.
“The reform of the CAP has major implications for the future not only of the Northern Ireland Agricultural industry but for our whole rural way of life.
“Farmers need to have the facts, and without those how can anyone be prepared to make decisions about the future of their business.
“That is why it is critically important for the Agriculture Minister to come forward with a clear and concise view on the future implementation and indeed implications of the new CAP.
“But crucially this can only be achieved by working hand in hand with the industry representatives – our message is clear – listen to the farmers and make the decisions in the best interests of the future of the Northern Ireland agricultural industry as a whole.”