21 January 2000

Farm jobs reaction

FARMERS leader Ben Gill has hit out at claims that one in four jobs could be shed in the agriculture industry over the next 10 years.

The NFU president described the comments by economist Sean Rickard of the Cranfield School of Management as "out of touch" and "insulting".

Former NFU employee Mr Rickard said on BBC1s Countryfile programme that 100,000 people could lose their jobs in industry restructuring.

Responding on Radio 4s Farming Today programme, Mr Gill said: "This is a typical example of an economist whos totally out of touch with the shopfloor."

Mr Gill said Mr Rickard had ignored the 18,000 job losses last year, and did not take into account the intensive labour required in the livestock sector.

"This is very insulting to people up and down the country," he said.