Representing 76,000 farm businesses across the UK, the Presidents and directors from the NFU, NFU Cymru, NFUS and UFU met at Agriculture House, Warwickshire, on Monday (1 August).
During the meeting each agreed their organisations must be the focal point for cross-border cooperation in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. The farming leaders identified the trade and investment climate as a critical focus for the unions to collaborate on, as well as ensuring simple access to labour, domestic farm policies that work for farmers across the UK and clarity over the UK's exit from the EU.
NFU President Meurig Raymond, on behalf of the meeting, said: “UK farming is a strong, dynamic sector that already contributes so much to society and the economy. But the industry has huge potential. That is why the coming months and years are vitally important to develop the right policies that enable our great industry to prosper.
“We have committed to providing a united front for the 76,000 farm businesses we represent and the 460,000 people who work on farms across the UK. We believe this will provide us with the best chances of working with government departments on the policies that will impact UK agriculture.
“The working areas we’ve just identified are the building blocks to the strong, collective and influential voice that we want to achieve for the industry. In the unchartered waters that our government finds itself, we want to be the consistent, reliable and representative body to look to for expertise in these working areas.
“Agriculture is the bedrock of the UK’s largest manufacturing industry, food and drink, worth £108 billion. The presidents of the farming unions have made it our mission to ensure that this value is matched with an ambition to shape a profitable, productive and progressive future for food production.”