NFU looks forward to working with new government

05 July 2024

NFU President Tom Bradshaw

NFU President Tom Bradshaw

The NFU is looking forward to working with the new government to help deliver its missions for Britain by boosting national food security, contributing to economic growth and driving environmental benefits.

NFU President Tom Bradshaw said: “This is a reset moment for British agriculture as we work with Sir Keir Starmer’s new government to drive our sector forwards and grow.

“Labour’s manifesto recognised that food security is national security, but it is business confidence which forms the foundation of this. With British farmers and growers ambitious for the future, what they – and the public – need are practical policies that revitalise farm business confidence and deliver on our shared mission of food security.

“In a cost-of-living crisis, our ability to provide affordable, climate friendly and high welfare food will be critical for families across the country, as well as underpinning the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, food and drink, and stimulating economic growth.

“That’s why, for Britain’s farmers, the number one priority for the new Labour government must be to set an increased multi-year agriculture budget for the duration of the next Parliament. This is about investing in the future of British farming – in homegrown food, in the environment and in renewable energy.

“In the coming days and weeks, we will be building on our strong engagement with Labour ministers to date to discuss essential policy solutions on key issues for our members. There are a number of policies within Labour’s manifesto which we will want to see actioned, for example ensuring the new Environmental Land Management Schemes work for all farm businesses, setting core standards for food imports and legislation to boost public procurement.

“At the same time, there are various issues that need greater recognition if the sector is to unlock its potential for growth, such as a fit for purpose Seasonal Workers Scheme, effective import controls, supply chain fairness, investment in infrastructure and flexibility in planning.

“Our members will also want to see the new government’s commitment to food security by being alert to the risk and impact of disease, particularly bovine TB, as we work towards the government’s target to eradicate this terrible disease by 2038. With the latest science showing a 56% decline in TB outbreaks, continuing with an effective and comprehensive eradication plan, which is based on scientific evidence, is essential.

“Working together on these immediate priorities is a win-win. The public will get more of the British food they know and love, farmers and growers will have the confidence to build profitable, sustainable, resilient businesses – supporting economic growth and environmental delivery – and this new government will help to secure a safe supply of homegrown food in an increasingly volatile and uncertain world.”