NFU24: Members talk directly to ministers and key stakeholders

20 February 2024

Janet Hughes, Steve Barclay and Farming Minister Mark Spencer

NFU regional representatives had a chance to voice the issues affecting their businesses to Defra Secretary Steve Barclay and Farming Minister Mark Spencer, and feed back on the raft of announcements made by the Prime Minister at the NFU’s Conference.

Mr Barclay and Mr Spencer were joined by Minister for Water and Rural Growth Robbie Moore and Defra Director of Farming Reforms, Janet Hughes.

The Defra Secretary opened the floor to feedback on the new measures announced in the Prime Minister’s speech.

Topics discussed ranged from SFI and the land use framework to support on natural capital markets and energy.

Ministers also addressed the volatility experienced by farmers and said the government was focused on profitability and productivity.

NFU chair of the North Regional Board William Maughan said it was “great to have the opportunity to speak to the Defra Secretary after hearing the package of announcements from the Prime Minister”.

“I feel we’ve received reassurance on a number of areas including a commitment on a food security summit,” Mr Maughan added.

“It was a very honest conversation and all our points were heard.”

Flooding and water roundtable

NFU members were also pleased to put key questions surrounding flooding and water to Alan Lovell, the Chair of the Environment Agency and Robbie Moore MP, the Minister for Water and Rural Growth, in a roundtable chaired by NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw.

Having a forum where members get to talk to key stakeholders on real-world farming issues is a powerful catalyst for change.


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