Following a new package of measures from Commissioner Hogan, the UK farming union presidents have called on Defra and the European Commission to work together in helping the UK farming sector.
The presidents of NFU, NFU Scotland, NFU Cymru and the Ulster Farmers Union welcome some of the positive steps Commissioner Hogan announced to help the sector– but urged decision makers to urgently respond to the current crisis in UK farming
Ahead of the monthly meeting of European agriculture ministers yesterday, the four UK farming union presidents met with the Secretary of State at the NFU office in Brussels. Amongst other issues, the presidents raised four urgent steps which could provide much needed relief to the struggling sector.
The four farming union presidents said in a joint statement:
“We are grateful to the Secretary of State for taking the time to meet with us again. She understands the seriousness of the current crisis but we all agree that more has to be done to reduce pressure on farming businesses.
“Commissioner Hogan’s package of measures announced at yesterday’s Agriculture Council are a step in the right direction – we welcome increases to the limits for dairy intervention and steps to look into a new private storage aid scheme and are very pleased to see that the commission will establish a meat market observatory – a key UK farming union ask. But there are four key steps the Commissioner and the Secretary of State could take to help farmers in these difficult times:
“NFU is working with the Agri Markets Taskforce announced by Commissioner Hogan. It is playing an important role in better understanding the market conditions and what tools could be used to eliminate volatility.
“As we told the Secretary of State yesterday morning, we fully support the long-term work Defra is doing to future proof the industry – but we must not ignore the reality of the situation. Farmers cannot plan for a long-term future if the short-term prospects look bleak.”