UK farming presidents welcome new measures

Presidents meet Liz truss_33371

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:

Removing tariffs on imported fertiliser is of the utmost importance.  The differential between global and European fertiliser prices has now reached €100/tonne – lifting this burden could really help UK farmers to become more competitive against our global counterparts.

Work with the European Investment Bank needs to be speeded up.  There are a range of financial instruments but we need to understand how best this will work and what farmers can do to benefit from EIB lending. We very much welcome Commissioner Hogan’s announcement that he will prioritise this work – we urge him to keep his foot on the accelerator as much as possible.   This is something we will also be urgently taking forward with Defra, the Treasury and High Street Banks.

Greater market transparency is key. With the right information and market signals, farmers will be able to respond and adjust their output accordingly.  Consequently, we look forward to playing a key role in the setting up of the Meat Market Observatory. 

Reviewing the dairy intervention price could stabilise prices in the milk market, providing much needed support to the sector.

“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.”

Last edited on: 15:03:2016

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  • Posted by: MichaelPosted on: 15/03/2016 21:04:51

    Comment: We need more support to people coming into the industry as agriculture will die off !!!

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