Monday, 27 May 2024 14:25

Election most important for British farming - NFU

Written by  Staff Reporters
National Farmers' Union president Tom Bradshaw. Photo Credit: National Farmers' Union. National Farmers' Union president Tom Bradshaw. Photo Credit: National Farmers' Union.

As Britain heads to the polls on 4 July, the UK’s National Farmer’s Union (NFU) has come out in full force, saying the election will be the most important in a generation for British farming.

“The stakes are very high,” says NFU president Tom Bradshaw. “If the next government gets it right then this huge sector can grow, contributing even more to the UK economy, to the health and welfare of Britons and to the environment. But farming and growing is under huge pressure.”

Similar to in New Zealand, farmer confidence in the UK is at what Bradshaw describes as “rock bottom”.

It comes after a series of floods, high production costs and low market returns, all of which is against a backdrop of a shift towards new domestic agriculture policy.

“Farmers and growers need the policies in place that will rebuild confidence and deliver a thriving, profitable farming sector delivering for food security as a key part of our national security,” Bradshaw says.

Late last year, as talk of the general election started to ramp up, the NFU released its election manifesto.

The election manifesto outlines for four major policy priorities the union says should be a focus for politicians:

  • A long-term plan for food and farming;
  • A more powerful grocery regulator to ensure farmers and growers are treated fairly;
  • Prioritizing British domestic food production in the budget; and
  • Ensuring that more food in schools and hospitals comes from British farmers.

“What farmers, growers and the public need to see is practical policies which invest in a future where Britain’s farmers and growers can continue producing sustainable, affordable food, driving forward economic growth, providing jobs, and delivering on the nation’s environmental ambitions,” Bradshaw concludes.

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