Ahead of the December General Election, the NFU has set out three asks of the future government in Back British Farming: Brexit and Beyond - The NFU 2019 Manifesto. Here you'll find the main priorities for your farming sector:
- Access to seasonal workforce: The horticulture and ornamental sector needs a fully functioning seasonal agricultural workers scheme to be implemented, enabling the industry to recruit the 70,000 seasonal workers it requires annually. The scheme must be open to direct recruiters as well as labour providers.
- Reform water abstraction licensing regime: The licensing regime needs to be reviewed and reformed to deliver an adequate supply of water to meet the increasing demand for UK-grown foods, such as fruit and vegetables and ornamental plants. We must ensure we take a strategic look at water infrastructure to ensure we balance surplus and scarcity and provide for food, people and the environment.
- Develop new UK Producer Organisations: The horticultural sector must receive appropriate fiscal support to continue to deliver increased productivity and adopt the latest technologies including new growing systems, automation and robots, in particular through the development of new UK Producer Organisation scheme which delivers matched funded investment for both individual businesses as well as collaborative groups.
- Adopt an evidence based approach to crop protection: UK growers must have access to a range of effective crop protection tools which does not leave them at a competitive disadvantage. The government must always adopt an evidence based approach to crop protection for ‘minor-use’ fruit, vegetable and ornamental crops.
- Promote consumption of fresh fruit and veg: The government must develop a comprehensive plan within the National Food Strategy to grow UK fruit and veg production to reverse the long-term decline in UK self-sufficiency. Increased consumption of fresh fruit, vegetables, potatoes and plants should be backed by government to improve the nutrition, health and well-being of the nation.