Responding to the Autumn 2017 Budget statement, the NFU is calling on all departments across government to prioritise the need for the nation’s ability to produce food and care for the countryside.
NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “We are disappointed to see no meaningful measures to help prepare farming businesses for life outside the EU in today’s Budget statement. With most of the emphasis on urban growth, there is little in the way of measures to benefit rural communities.
“We do, however, appreciate that this is a fairly stable Budget that does not appear to have any adverse impact on our industry.
“In these times of uncertainty, and ahead of significant upheaval, we need to have sustainable and viable businesses producing the nation’s food. Our calls to create the right environment for investing in farming, to mitigate risks, are yet to be answered.
“We will look with interest to next week’s Industrial Strategy launch and hope it will include specific measures to support the agri-food sector.
“Farming meets 61% of the nation’s food needs and forms the bedrock of the UK food and drink sector which contributes £112bn (in 2016, up from £109bn in 2015) to the nation’s economy and provides 3.8 million jobs. Farming makes a significant economic contribution as well as caring for our iconic British countryside and putting safe, affordable British food on tables across the country.
“British farmers perform a unique and irreplaceable role in delivering these contributions. Increasing the nation’s ability to produce food needs to be seen as a strategic goal for government and we will work in partnership with government departments to establish the best possible business environment for our members.”