During an incredibly busy few days in the Houses of Parliament, the NFU had a strong presence across the national media.
Coverage was mainly focussed on the Government publishing its no-deal import tariff schedule and food standards. Here’s a round-up of the highlights:
NFU President Minette Batters appeared on the Brexit special on BBC 2, BBC News Channel and BBC World News, reaching around 16 million people. She emphasised that despite the vote, a no deal would not be off the table until MPs come to a different arrangement to avoid leaving the EU with no-deal. Minette also discussed this on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme which reaches around 7 million listeners.
NFU Vice President Stuart Roberts featured on both the BBC 6 and 10 O’Clock News commenting on his reaction to the tariff news, reaching a combined audience of around 8 million. NFU member and Shropshire farmer Malcolm Robert was also interviewed by ITV News.
The NFU also received significant media interest over the Government’s announcement that 87% of imports by value would be eligible for zero-tariff access. NFU Director of EU Exit and International Trade, Nick von Westenholz, appeared on Sky News where he spoke about the uncertainty farmers are currently facing, such as struggling to recruit non-EU workers. e also pointed out that many farming sectors were not protected by high tariffs, such as eggs, fruit, veg and cereals.
In national print media, NFU President Minette Batters is quoted in The Sun, The Guardian, The Times and The Independent, saying that the zero-rate tariffs would mean the UK loses control of animal welfare standards, with a greater reliance on food produced overseas.
On Farming Today this morning, the programme also featured an in terview with Nick von Westenholz. He spoke about how food imports which have been produced to lower standards would undercut British producers. Around 1 million listeners tune-in to the early morning broadcast.
Other coverage in the media over the past week includes...
BBC News featured NFU member Peter Alvis who discussed the processes behind the production of his organic cheddar on Lyecross Farm. Peter also spoke about the uncertainty around Brexit and how he has found a market for his product in the US.
A number of newspapers reported on the Farmvention competition final which was held at the House of Commons. Ronald Ross Primary School, London, was crowned overall winner for their ingenious tractor of the future design: an eco-friendly drone zip line that protects soil structure by sowing, maintaining and picking the crop from above, removing the need for heavy machinery.