Election 2015: Sector by sector

NFU Manifesto 2015_200_283What promises would we like from the political parties when it comes to backing British farming?

On this page you’ll find the pledges which could swing the vote in each of the agricultural sectors, and some pointers for the environment and wider food chain. It's all part of the our work in the run-up to the General Election, which will be heavily featured at NFU Conference 2015.

Click on one of the buttons below to zoom in on a topic. And don’t forget, you can read our full 2015 General Election Manifesto here.
 

 

Cereals

  • pledge cards - crops, nfu conference 2105, nfu15_2A UK government engaging and championing farming in EU policy-making, leading with review of CAP greening.
  • Comprehensive Agri-Food strategy to grow UK food production over the next Government’s term, reversing the long-term decline in UK self-sufficiency.
  • Increased investment in UK-relevant agri-science, extension and approval of genetically modified (GM) tools through to commercialisation.
  • Robust scientific evidence to ensure continued and expanded access to a wide range of plant protection products using risk-based assessments.
  • Planning rules that enable farmers and farm enterprises to compete and grow with expanding potential market and conform to regulatory requirements.

Sugar

  • pledge cards - sugar, nfu conference 2105, nfu15_2Maintain a single representative body for UK sugar growers after 2017, to protect their interests as they are in the position of having a single buyer processor.
  • Fair and equal access and availability of plant protection products for UK farmers and growers, as outlined in our Healthy Harvest campaign. UK competent authorities should accept data produced by other member states' regulators to allow UK growers access to a similar range of products to others in the EU.
  • Use the UK’s 2017 presidency of the Council of the European Union to set the agenda for CAP 2020 reforms, based on principles of fairness, simplicity, commonality and market focus.
  • A fundamental pledge that all decision making should be made using robust scientific evidence, rather than populist and sensationalist campaigning, and on a risk rather than hazard-based approach.
  • Provide flexibility for the Environment Agency to switch flood defence funds according to need between capital and maintenance activities.

Livestock

  • pledge cards - livestock, nfu conference 2105_200_Greater market transparency and accountability for inspection charges, specification downgrades and deductions by processors.
  • Streamline livestock movement systems to allow farmers a practical, safe, alternative to a whole-farm six-day standstill and for sheep identification, simplify tolerance levels under cross compliance to avoid unfair penalties caused by failure of sheep electronic identification (EID) technology.
  • Implement the TB Eradication Strategy launched in April 2014 in full; incorporating a holistic, well-resourced and practical delivery programme and backed by a national bovine TB advisory service.
  • Government recognition of the responsible way UK farmers use antibiotics and other veterinary medicines with any new policies made on a scientific and evidential basis.
  • Promote the ‘Britain is Great’ campaign for British produce to open up export markets by backing exporters and embassy staff.

Dairy

  • pledge cards - dairy, nfu conference 2105, nfu15_2Establish fiscal incentives for farming businesses that encourage a balanced approach to investment and manage volatility. Alongside a stable Annual Investment Allowance and new Farm Infrastructure Allowance, for capital investment, extend profit averaging to counter income volatility.
  • Implement the TB Eradication Strategy launched in April 2014 in full; incorporating a holistic, well-resourced and practical delivery programme and backed by a national TB advisory service.
  • Continued support for the Grocery Code Adjudicator and a mandatory extension to all links in the supply chain between producers and intermediaries.
  • Clear and unambiguous country of origin labelling on meat, meat products, milk and dairy products.
  • Champion a radical review of EU water quality legislation starting with coordinating the Nitrates Directive and Water Framework Directive planning

Horticulture

  • pledge cards - horticulture, nfu conference 2105, Comprehensive plan to grow UK food production over the next Government’s term, reversing long-term decline in UK self-sufficiency. For horticulture, we ask Government to support efforts to increase consumption of fruit, vegetables, potatoes and plants to improve the nutrition, health and well-being of the nation.
  • Government science funding rebalanced to acknowledge the critical importance of applied research to tackle production challenges and encourage growth.
  • Government introduces a seasonal labour scheme open to students from outside the EU to undertake seasonal harvest work on UK farms. Government to also fully recognise how seasonal workers from existing EU countries are an essential part of the workforce currently underpinning the UK horticulture and potatoes industry.
  • For Government to commit to working with industry to take forward the Ornamentals Roundtable Action Plan, to create a 5-year roadmap to deliver on the actions and enable a thriving, productive and profitable British ornamentals sector to realise its potential for growth by 2020.
  • Ensure that Defra’s reform of the water abstraction licensing regime delivers an adequate supply of water to meet the increasing demand for UK-grown foods, such as fruit and vegetables, and ornamental plants.

Poultry

  • pledge cards - poultry, nfu conference 2105, nfu15Ensuring a fair deal is made under the Transatlantic Trade and investment Partnership so that agriculture overall and no specific sectors are disproportionately hit in order to agree the deal.
  • Ensuring poultry welfare is upheld by continuing infra-red beak tipping and translating the Bristol University trial flock results in to best practice.
  • Government recognition of the responsible way farmers use antibiotics and other veterinary medicines with any new policies made on a scientific and evidence base.
  • Continued support for the Grocery Code Adjudicator and mandatory extension to all links in the supply chain between producers and intermediaries.
  • Accurate food and farming information supplied to schools and colleges as part of the national curriculum, highlighting the importance of provenance to future consumers.

Pigs

  • pledge cards - pigs, nfu conference 2105, nfu15_20Provide adequateborder post resources in order to improve the nation's chances of keeping out exotic diseases such as foot and mouth and African swine fever, and — when exotic disease does enter the country again — ensure fair compensation is paid to those livestock producers who are subjected to movement controls and/or whose livestock is slaughtered.
  • Request a defined timescale for planning applications and appeals and ensure a truly democratic process which appraises only relevant, scientific information and not misinformation or public perception when an application is presented at committee.
  • Champion the exceptional standards of British pig farmers and members of the Red Tractor Farm Assurance Scheme and continue to challenge Government departments to procure more pork products to equivalent standards
  • As new devolution arrangements come into play, ensure the agricultural and environmental departments and regulators of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England maintain a culture of cooperation and, where appropriate, harmonisation.
  • Ensure that the UK government and EU Commission only develop and interpret new legislation on veterinary medicine use, welfare and animal health that is evidence based and ultimately for the benefit of the animal. We must not allow any further ‘knee-jerk’ policy making resulting from sensationalist news stories that have been promulgated by anti-farming lobby groups.

Environment

  • pledge cards - environment, nfu conference 2105, nEnsure that that all farmers can access capital support for on-farm conservation work when Defra’s new Environment Land Management scheme opens in 2015.
  • Champion a radical review of EU water quality legislation starting with coordinating the Nitrates Directive and Water Framework Directive planning cycles.
  • Provide flexibility for the Environment Agency to switch flood defence funds according to need between capital and maintenance activities.
  • Create a general licence for watercourse management that allows riparian farmers to undertake minor works e.g. de-silting and bank repairs.
  • Ensure that Defra’s reform of the water abstraction licensing regime delivers an adequate supply of water to meet the increasing demand for UK-grown foods such as fruit and vegetables.

Food Chain

  • pledge cards - food chain, nfu conference 2105, nfComprehensive Agri-Food strategy to grow UK food production over the next Government’s term, reversing the long-term decline in UK self-sufficiency.
  • Support and extension of the Grocery Code Adjudicator role to all links in the supply chain between producers and intermediaries.
  • Fiscal incentives that enable farm businesses to manage volatility and promote capital investment
  • Increased investment in UK-relevant agri-science, extension and approval of genetically modified (GM) tools through to commercialisation.
  • Accurate food and farming information supplied to schools and colleges

Last edited on: 11:02:2015

Share this story:

NFU members: Have your say

Want to share your views? You must be logged in to comment – please login here. Not a member? Join us here.

  • Posted by: Barry SunleyPosted on: 13/02/2015 20:12:40

    Comment: Lobbying from NFU on achieving better rural broadband IN REALITY for ALL rural areas to support the government's own stated aim of "digital by default". Digital by default cannot possibly be achieved without good broadband for all rural communities.
    Specifically, do not be beholden to BT as they are clearly unwilling and uneconomic to expand fast broadband coverage to all premises. Secondly look again at local community wireless and fibre schemes who have shown what can be achieved without BT. The Airwave technology project is another possibility although its unbeleievable how much money they are spending to achieve so little. Even Anne MacIntosh's DEFRA broadband committee completed ignored the possibility offered by wireless schemes despite having several written submissions on the subject.

  • © 2019 - NFU Online