Cash-flow pressures on British farmers must be addressed

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More must be done by the European Institutions and UK government to take cash flow pressure off British farmers, as they face some of the toughest market conditions in recent times.

The Presidents of the four UK farming unions met in Brussels on Friday to discuss the steps needed to help the sector deal with financial pressures in the short and medium term.

The NFU is also calling on the UK government and those across the banking industry to work with the European Investment Bank to take a fresh look at the way in which they deal with the cash flow crisis. In addition, unacceptable delays in issuing Basic Payment Scheme payments must be urgently addressed by the Rural Payments Agency.

The NFU is calling for:

  • The European Investment Bank (EIB) to speed up its work to refinance farm borrowings
  • The European Institutions to take steps to alleviate the problems farmers are facing in the wake of the Russian ban
  • The dairy intervention price thresholds to be reviewed. 
  • Fertiliser import tariffs to be removed to boost competition in the European fertiliser sector.

All of these measures will help to achieve the ultimate objective of taking cash flow pressure off farmers.

NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “The farming sector in the UK is facing severe cash flow difficulties at the moment, not least due to the unacceptable delays in issuing Basic Payment Scheme payments. Farm businesses are really struggling financially and it’s vital the EU acts now to do all it can to alleviate the problems farmers are facing in the wake of the Russian ban- caused through no fault of their own.”

The four farming unions met with senior Commission officials in Brussels this week to highlight several key EU measures to deliver assistance.  This comes after ministers in the Agriculture Council agreed to put forward proposals on potential solutions to the European Commission ahead of the next Agriculture Council in March. The four union Presidents will be lobbying ministers and pressing the Commission to introduce practical measures to support Europe’s struggling farmers.

The four farming unions will jointly be outlining these steps in a submission to ministers ahead of the next Agriculture Council meeting in Brussels in March.

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