New Year, new deal.
With a New Year comes a new trade deal, NFU President Minette Batters talked to Anna Hill on BBC R4 Farming Today about the EU trade deal and its effect on farmers. Listen from around 9 minutes.Minette's New Year's message was also quoted in the Daily Telegraph and the Mirror as she discussed the seismic changes facing the sector.
EU/UK trade deal announced
NFU President Minette Batters was interviewed live on Sky News as it was announced the EU and the UK had reached an agreement. Minette told presenter Dermot Murnaghan "the NFU had always been clear that maintaining tariff-free access to the EU market was absolutely crucial for British food and farming".
There were also mentions of the NFU and its reaction to the deal on Radio 4's Today programme, Radio 2, Radio 5 Live, Times Radio and LBC.
NFU President visited Radio 4's Desert Island
Minette Batters shared her favourite songs on BBC’s Desert Island Discs. Throughout the programme, she discussed the current issues affecting farming, including the uncertainty farmers face as we approach the end of the transition period and the need for continued trade with the EU.
Deal or no deal?
As Brexit negotiations went down to the wire as we approached the end of the transition period, the NFU press phones and emails were busy with media enquiries asking how UK agriculture will be impacted particularly if there was a no deal scenario.
NFU President Minette featured on Sky News discussing the Brexit negotiations and the implications of a no-deal on British farming.
Minette appeared on BBC Newsnight this week where she explained how a no deal Brexit would be "catastrophic for British agriculture."
The NFU has also been talking to political correspondents at all the national newspapers too. Minette has been interviewed by The Guardian, and NFU Vice President Tom Bradshaw was interviewed by The Daily Express where he emphasised the uncertainty facing farmers here in the UK.
Meanwhile, NFU member and Warwickshire sheep farmer, Charlie Beaty, was interviewed by Sky News, to explain how her farming business would be impacted by a no deal.
Sunday Times did a feature with Cumbrian sheep farmer Richard Pedley who explained the challenges farmers will face in a no-deal situation. The online piece also features a video with NFU uplands forum chairman Thomas Binns.
Agricultural transition coverage continues
NFU President Minette Batters appeared on the BBC News at 6 & 10 and ITV Lunchtime News saying that more clarity is needed about how the new scheme is going to work.
Minette was also interviewed on Channel 4 News, alongside NFU north west regional director David Hall and livestock farmer James Rebanks (known to many on Twitter as @herdyshepherd1) who reiterated that there are lots of questions that still need answering. You can watch the full feature here.
Channel 5 News featured south east regional board chairman David Exwood who stressed that we can't forget about supporting food production in the future scheme.
Meanwhile, Vice President Tom Bradshaw took to the airwaves talking to national radio station talkRADIO (listen back from 7 mins). He told presenter Ian Collins about the opportunities a new support scheme offers sustainable farming in Britain, but only if "we get it right".
There was also plenty of coverage in the newspapers. The Times covered the 'new entrants into the industry - older farmers leaving' angle and interviewed NFU tenants group chairman and dairy farmer Chris Cardell and quoted combinable crops board member Sarah Bell.
Government publishes agricultural transition roadmap
As Defra announced plans that will see the biggest shake-up in agricultural policy in 50 years, the NFU was right across the media to highlight how the industry will be impacted.
NFU President Minette Batters was interviewed live on Radio 4's Today programme (7.10am) saying that despite government embracing many ideas for sustainable farming and food production, the funding gap will leave many farmers in a precarious position.
Times Radio aslo spoke to Minette on what the plan will mean for farm businesses in England (from 6.35am).
The roadmap announcement featured in most national newspapers and was the front page story in The Times, featuring a comment by Minette. The Times also focused on new entrants entering the industry including an interview with NFU Student & Young Farmer Ambassador Matt Rollason.
Chancellor publishes spending review
BBC Radio 4 Today looked at what the Chancellor's spending review will mean for young people across the UK. NFU Student & Young Farmer Ambassador Matt Rollason was interviewed saying that government must commit money to limit border and customs disruptions at the end of the transition period.
BBC Politics West aired an interview with NFU President Minette Batters about how Brexit could impact UK farmers, covering trade with the EU, food standards and seasonal labour.
Reaching a trade deal with the EU
Jeremy Warner, assistant editor of The Daily Telegraph, wrote a piece in the paper on UK/EU trade and quoted NFU President Minette Batters saying that no-deal would be the biggest shock to UK farming since repeal of the Corn Laws nearly 200 years ago.
NFU President Minette Batters was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Broadcasting House where she stressed the need for as free and frictionless trade as possible with the EU. Listen back from 32 mins.
Financial Times reported that more than 70 British business groups including the NFU, CBI and BRC have issued a joint call for both UK and EU leaders to find a route through and strike a deal. NFU Director General Terry Jones is quoted in the piece outlining why it's vital that a tariff-free, quota-free deal is struck as soon as possible. Daily Mail also covered the story.
Andrew Burgess and John Pawsey, the current and previous chairmen of the NFU's organic forum, featured in Financial Times about the potential ban on organic exports to the EU from 1 January if organic certification is not recognised after the end of the Brexit transition.
Andrew Burgess was also interviewed on Politics East about the issue and how farmers are stuck in limbo waiting for certainty.