Alton and Petersfield NFU members met East Hampshire MP and Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds on Friday, 2 November to discuss the Agriculture Bill. The meeting about this recently published Bill took place at NFU South East Regional Office in Petersfield.
Hampshire NFU adviser Sandra Nichols said: “NFU members stressed that this is a once in a generation chance for the government to develop a UK specific agricultural policy that drives integration of profitable food production with high environmental and animal welfare standards. The NFU believes the Government has a strategic interest in ensuring a sufficient level of domestic food production. Farm businesses also have an important role to play in other strategic priorities such as energy and water supply, so these should be further ends to which financial assistance can be provided. The Bill should promote improvements in the competitiveness and financial resilience of farm businesses, helping farmers better manage risk and periods of poor market returns.”
She continued: “It must also ensure that all food imported into the UK be produced to at least equivalent standards, as they relate to animal welfare, environmental protection and food production, as those required of producers in the UK. A failure to do so would undermine the principles that should be at the very heart of the Bill - an efficient, productive, profitable UK farming sector meeting the needs and expectations of the British public, both in terms of the food they eat and the public goods they value.”