Prime Minister, David Cameron, has been challenged to take UK farmers’ problems seriously and urged to back policies that will deliver a solution.
This was the message given to the PM by NFU president, Meurig Raymond, during a meeting at No 10 this week which was designed as a move to “push British farming up the Government agenda”.
Mr Raymond said that British farmers had been through financial turmoil over the past year, highlighting severe price drops for dairy, pig and wheat farmers. As a result, he added, producers are now being paid 30% less they were getting in February 2014.
Urging governments, both in the UK and in Brussels, to take immediate action, he gave the PM, and Secretary of State, Liz Truss, who also attended the meeting, the following action points:
- Extend the Grocery Code Adjudicator’s remit to achieve fair and secure supply chains
- Ensure the Basic Payment Scheme 2016 runs smoothly to avoid payment delays
- Open up the fertiliser market to improve prices for this essential tool for farmers
- Improve price reporting so farmers can manage their own risk
“The NFU is committed to ensuring the highest levels of government are taking the issues in the British farming sector seriously,” he said. “I therefore want Mr Cameron to ensure government makes resilience and competitiveness central to all policies affecting agriculture.”